Everything you always wanted to know about guns in Africa…

Some blatent self-promotion here. The Journal of Public Health Policy has just published a special section on gun violence in Africa. I helped to organise it (but Maria Valenti did most of the work) and contributed an introductory article. Unfortunately, my article wasn’t my best because I had a list of topics that needed to be covered, and that’s not good for narrative structure. But the other articles are very good, and present new data on a subject that’s very difficult to study.

The articles are currently available for free on the Journal’s homepage, here. Get them while you can! They are: 


Special Section: Small Arms and Light Weapons in Africa – A Major Challenge to Public Health and Development 

Maria Valenti, Phyllis Freeman and Anthony Robbins

J Public Health Pol 28: 387-388; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200151

Leaders of a special project of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War describe a public health crisis in many African countries caused by small arms and light weapons. These weapons kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, leaving millions more maimed, injured, disabled, and traumatized. They summarize efforts to reduce the adverse health effects, beginning with public health surveillance and actions to influence policy.

Maria Valenti, Christin M Ormhaug, Robert E Mtonga and John Loretz

J Public Health Pol 28: 389-400; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200150

A Norway-based scholar who organizes conferences for African and European researchers discusses the lethality of guns, gaps in African data, and international agreements that can be used to mobilize support for public health approaches to curbing small arms injuries and deaths in Africa.

Nicholas Marsh

J Public Health Pol 28: 401-409; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200153


Firearm Injuries in Nairobi, Kenya: Who Pays the Price? 

The Kenyan affiliate of International Physicans for the Prevention of Nuclear War studied firearm injured patients who reached Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi during a six month period in 2006 to learn incidence, prevalence, and costs charged to patients for hospital care.

Florian Hugenberg, Walter Odhiambo Anjango, Angela Mwita and Dedan Opondo

J Public Health Pol 28: 410-419; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200152


Gun Violence in Nigeria: A Focus on Ethno-Religious Conflict in Kano 

The Nigerian affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War sponsored a study of small arms and light weapons in northern Nigeria to learn about the relationship of these weapons to ethno-religious tensions. They found firearm injuries to be linked to riots between Christians and Muslims.

Ime A John, Aminu Z Mohammed, Andrew D Pinto and Celestine A Nkanta

J Public Health Pol 28: 420-431; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200155


A Multinational Injury Surveillance System Pilot Project in Africa 

These authors discuss their pilot of an epidemiological surveillance system at emergency departments for intentional, violent injuries in selected hospitals in Zambia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Kenya. Their goal is to organize an ongoing system to gather reliable data on injuries for comparisons across countries and analyses to generate better evidence-based recommendations to public health authorities.

Diego E Zavala, Simon Bokongo, Ime A John, Senoga Ismail Mpanga, Robert E Mtonga, Zakari Mohammed Aminu, Walter Odhiambo and Peter Olupot-Olupot

J Public Health Pol 28: 432-441; doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200154


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