Estimating the Social and Economic Burden of Road Traffic Injuries in the Philippines
Background. Road traffic injuries (RTI) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Despite underreporting, the scarce Philippine data suggest that RTI pose a significant health problem in the country. It is imperative, therefore, to accurately quantify the burden of RTI in the Philippines.
Objective. This study aimed to provide the first comprehensive baseline estimation of the socioeconomic burden of RTI in the Philippines for year 2014.
Methods. The study was a mixed method study design that utilized both primary and secondary data. These data were used to construct parameters needed for the modeling estimates. Measure of socioeconomic burden estimated were (1) economic costs, (2) disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and (3) healthy life years (HeaLY).
Result. Estimated deaths due to RTI in 2014 were 12,336 translating to 454,650 years life lost due to premature death. Injury episodes from RTI were estimated to be 2,798,088 in 2014 with 186,174 leading to admissions, translating to 56,224 years life lost to disability. The total DALY loss due to RTI in 2014 was estimated at 510, 874, while healthy life years lost were estimated to be 76,215,477.4. The estimated deaths and injuries for that year equaled to direct medical cost of PhP 1.213 B, productivity loss due to premature death of PhP 24.620 B, and productivity loss due to illness of PhP 685 M resulting to a total economic cost of PhP 26.519 B to the society.
Conclusion. The findings indicate that RTI is an important public health concern in the Philippines with substantial economic and health burden. Investing in preventive measures will likely yield significant economic and health gains for the Philippines.