This report describes the application of a draft version of the World Health Organization (WHO)/ United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Manual for estimating the economic costs of injuries due to interpersonal and self-directed violence to measure costs of injuries from interpersonal violence.
Methods: Fatal incidence data was obtained from the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The incidence of nonfatal violence-related injuries that required hospitalization was estimated using data obtained from patients treated at and/or admitted to three Type A government hospitals in 2006.
Results: During 2006, direct medical cost (J$2.1 billion) of injuries due to interpersonal violence accounted for about 12% of Jamaica’s total health budget while productivity losses due to violencerelated injuries accounted for approximately J$27.5 billion or 160% of Jamaica’s total health expenditure and 4% of Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product.
Conclusions: The availability of accurate and reliable data of the highest quality from health-related information systems is critical for providing useful data on the burden of violence and injury to decision-makers. As Ministries of Health take a leading role in violence and injury prevention, data collection and information systems must have a central role. This study describes the results of one approach to examining the economic burden of interpersonal violence in developing countries where the burden of violence is heaviest. The WHO-CDC manual also tested in Thailand and Brazil is a first step towards generating a reference point for resource allocation, priority setting and prevention advocacy.