Digital Public Defence: Mads Sundet Mads Sundet at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Road traffic injuries in Lilongwe, Malawi” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Nicolas Tourrenc/Diakonhjemmet sykehus.

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

An electronic copy of the thesis may be ordered from the faculty up to 2 days prior to the public defence. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Research Fellow Margaret Peden, Imperial College
  • Second opponent: Professor Torben Wisborg, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Torsten Eken, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Pål Aksel Næss, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Chief Physician Sven Young, Haukeland University Hospital


Malawi has one of the highest rates of deaths due to road traffic injuries in the world. Despite this, the knowledge about road traffic injuries in this country is sparse. This thesis aimed to provide detailed information about the road traffic injuries occurring in this country. It utilizes two different datasets both collected at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe: a large trauma database with 4776 children injured in road traffic injuries between 2009 and 2015, and a cross-sectional study with 1259 road traffic injury patients presenting to the same hospital during three months in 2019. In the latter study, all were tested for alcohol use.

Despite the assumption that three fourths of Malawians are abstaining from alcohol use, the study demonstrated for the first time widespread use of alcohol among road traffic injured patients. 49.5% of male pedestrians, 23.8% of car drivers and 20.8 of bus/minibus and truck drivers had used alcohol prior to injury, while only 2.5% of female patients had used alcohol. A large proportion of the patients did report that they never drank alcohol at all (63.1%), but those that reported regular alcohol use had a very high prevalence of alcohol use at 60.2% when injured.

It was found that injuries to pedestrians were a major concern both in children and adults. Though child pedestrians had 54% of all injuries, they accounted for 97 of the 124 deaths (78%) during the time period, and 71% of the children with moderate to severe head injuries were pedestrians. Paediatric road traffic injuries increased dramatically between 2009 and 2015.

The studies in the thesis demonstrated risk factors for getting more severe injuries, and also demonstrated a simple way of mapping road traffic injuries by collecting geographical data in the emergency room.

The thesis discusses possible preventive measures, and utilizes Haddon matrices and the Safe Systems Approach as frameworks in this discussion.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Apr. 19, 2022 2:17 PM - Last modified May 2, 2022 1:43 PM