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BACKGROUND: The etiology of maxillofacial injuries varies from one country to another and even within the same country depending on the prevailing socioeconomic, cultural and environmental factors. Periodic verification of the etiology of maxillofacial injuries helps to recommend ways in which maxillofacial injuries can be averted. The aim of the present study is therefore to analyse the characteristics and trends of maxillofacial injuries in Nigeria based on a systematic review of the literature. METHODS: A literature search using MEDLINE was conducted for publications on maxillofacial injuries in Nigeria. The relevant references in these publications were manually searched for additional non-Medline articles or abstracts. Forty-two studies met the inclusion criteria and the full-texts of these articles were thoroughly examined. Due to lack of uniformity and consistency in assessment and measurement variables, and treatment modalities in most of the studies, it was impossible to apply the traditional methods of a systematic review. Therefore, a narrative approach was conducted to report the findings of the included studies. RESULTS: Although, other causes like assaults, sport injuries, and industrial accidents increased in numbers, throughout the period between 1965 and 2003, road traffic crashes remained the major etiological factor of maxillofacial injuries in all regions, except northeastern region where assault was the major cause. A significant increase in motorcycles related maxillofacial injuries was observed in most urban and suburban centres of the country. Animal attacks were not an unusual cause of maxillofacial injuries in most parts of northern Nigeria. Patients in the age group of 21-30 years were mostly involved. A strong tendency toward an equal male-to-female ratio was observed between earlier and later periods. CONCLUSION: Road traffic crashes remain the major cause of maxillofacial injuries in Nigeria, unlike in most developed countries where assaults/interpersonal violence has replaced road traffic crashes as the major cause of the injuries. There is a need to reinforce legislation aimed to prevent road traffic crashes and the total enforcement of existing laws to reduce maxillofacial injuries among children and adults. Special attention should also be paid by the authority to improve the socioeconomic conditions of Nigerian populace.
Adeyemo, W. L., Ladeinde, A. L., Ogunlewe, M. O., & James, O. (2005). Trends and characteristics of oral and maxillofacial injuries in Nigeria: a review of the literature. Head & Face Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-160x-1-7