Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit

Surveillance and Monitoring Instruments

Psychosocial Needs and Recovery of Paediatric Burn Victims: Towards the Development of a Digital Documentary Intervention

In South Africa each year, there are many thousands of burn-related hospitalisations. Burn injuries are among the most painful experiences for a child and may result in devastating long-term consequences, physically and emotionally. A child’s psychological resilience and social support greatly influences the level and duration of post-traumatic reactions. This resilience may be strengthened by early interventions that target key sources of stress and modes of coping, preferably already during the acute phase, when children and adolescents are hospitalised. Such early interventions are a crucial window of opportunity for the support of severely injured children, especially in resource-constrained settings. This study aims to design a multimodal documentary that can strengthen the recovery process of paediatric burn victims during the acute hospitalisation phase.

The study intends to:

  • demonstrate positive psychosocial recovery from paediatric burns through the use of film as a medium to communicate stories of resilience
  • provide burn care centres with a tool that supports in-hospital psychosocial interventions for the child/patient-caregiver dyad
  • prepare child patients and caregivers for re-entry and re-integration upon discharge - from a strength-based perspective. 

The project is funded by the National Research Foundation and is in partnership with the Karolinska Institutet’s Division of Public Health.


National Injury and Mortality Surveillance System 

The National Injury Mortality Surveillance System, or NIMSS, is currently the most detailed source of information on the “who, what, when and where” of fatal injuries in South Africa. It comprises information on 350 000 injury fatalities and is a useful source of information for monitoring injury trends, the effectiveness of prevention initiatives and the accuracy of other data sources.

Since 2001, the NIMSS has had, for varying periods, full coverage in several cities (including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town), and currently maintains full coverage for Mpumalanga province and seven (out of 10) participating mortuaries in Gauteng.

VIPRU continues to provide information on the incidence and causes of non-natural deaths, as well as determine priorities for injury and violence prevention, through the collation, cleaning and generation of provincial epidemiological data and reports. 

VIPRU’s current focus is on the development, implementation and evaluation of an electronic capturing and reporting system in Mpumalanga, while the NIMSS continues to support postgraduate studies and requests for technical reports.   The system is currently aligning and updating its surveillance methods to match the World Health Organization’s guidelines on good public health surveillance.


Johannesburg Injury and Safety Promotion Observatory

The Johannesburg Injury and Safety Promotion Observatory (JISPO) project is a collaboration between the Joburg City Safety Programme (JCSP) in the City of Johannesburg-Public Safety Department and the Unisa Institute for Social and Health Sciences (Unisa ISHS).

JISPO was proposed and developed in response to the City’s long-term goals as articulated in the Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) of “creating a safe, liveable, and responsive city for all its citizens” and the short-term City goals for urban safety.

The objectives of the observatory are to:

  1. improve the safety-related internal decision-making processes of the City of Johannsburg by strengthening its data collection, management, analysis and uptake systems
  2. provide an evidence base for the City’s prevention activities
  3. support the City to prioritise and mobilise resources to address key issues
  4. enhance governance by maximising inter-institutional cooperation, information-sharing, analysis, and policy development initiatives
  5. create a comprehensive profile of public safety by including various possible data sources
  6. support the development of indices over time.

Through the JISPO project, the City will be able to track alignment of its outputs and initiatives with overall strategic goals and ensure health and well-being for all its citizens. The observatory is an initial step in the development of a public safety measure for the City.


Community Safety and Peace Index (CSPI) 

Community safety and peace indicators that integrate local community knowledges are relatively underdeveloped worldwide. This has highlighted the need for community-engaged scholarship to develop indicators that take cognisance of important local challenges. The Community Safety and Peace Index (CSPI) encapsulates both a theoretical and participatory grounded approach. It is based on a multi-phased process which includes multiple Delphi panels and community workshops (the substantive validity phase) that reflect and assess the safety, peace and quality of life of residents and communities.

In 2017, the CSPI and Environmental Scan Instruments were finalised. The next phase in the development of the CSPI, the structural validity phase, will occur in 2018 and will comprise the piloting and psychometric evaluation of the instrument.

Last modified: 2019/06/26