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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Domestic unintentional injury of 1 to 5-year-old children in a rural area of West Bengal, India: a community-based study - Tanzania Journal of Health Research, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2016, pp. 1-8

After the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947, many refugee populations resided near the railway tracks that run through the southern parts of Calcutta. These populations lived in shanties of Calcutta’s Rail Colony for over 50 years (Chatterjee, 2005, p. 53). The population that resides in these railway colonies, are also known as “squatters”, and are always in a constant threat of eviction by the railway's authority as they have settled a space on the properties illegally (Chatterjee, 2005, p. 54). These colonies are more than just urban slums, they are the only home for marginalized communities. The people residing in shanties are then known as “non-citizens” who are unable to claim equal citizenship, benefits, agency, and power as everyone else.

 One can question what rights and facilities are in place for these marginalized communities. A lot of children living in these squatters are neglected as their caregivers are at work and are at risk of injuries as these colonies are right next to railway tracks. Childhood injuries is a leading public health issue where unintentional injuries are a cause of morbidity and mortality in children. According to the World Health Organization, over 630,000 deaths occur annually in children less than 15 years of age in 2011 as a result of unintentional injuries.

The Case study conducted by Banerjee et, Al.  sheds light on the issues of unintentional injuries in West Bengal, India at singur block, hoodhly district. It looks at why children are in risks of unintentional injuries. Primary caregivers were interviewed and the researchers assessed the household based on a checklist that identified the level of injury hazards. The results show that more than 37.4 % of the children had some type of injury in the last 3 months.

The study recommends that parental supervision and modification of the households can prevent these injuries.

Chatterjee, P. (2004). The Politics of the Governed Reflection on popular politics in most of the world. New York, New York, United States: Columbia University Press.


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