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Objectives: The study is aimed at assessing the profile of unnatural death in an oil-rich city in Niger Delta region.
Method: This is a descriptive retrospective study of all homicidal, accidental and suicidal deaths examined forensically at theCentral hospital mortuary, Warri from January 2003 to December 2016.
Results: Unatural death accounted for 802( 82.5% ) of all medicolegal cases examined within the study period. Homicidal, accidental and suicidal deaths accounted for 541(67.5%),(247) 29.7% and 14(1.1%)respectively of the unnatural deaths. A total of 713(88.9%) males and 89(11.1%) females were encountered , giving a male-female ratio(MFR)of 8:1. The mean age of the victims is 32.7 years with the peak occurring in the 3rd decade.The most commonly used weapon for homicidal death is firearms, accounting for 374(69.1%) of cases. Accidental death result mainly from RTA, drowning, burns and electrocution whichrespectivelyaccounted for 142(57.5%) 34(13.8%)26(10.5%) and 19(7.7%) of the cases; and with a MFR of 6:1.
14 cases of suicides were encountered during the study involving 11 males and 3 females, giving a MFR of 7:2.
Conclusion: The causes of unnatural death are mainly preventable.The resultant premature death, affecting mainly males of productive age is a great source of concern. There is need for the government, the community and individuals to contribute their quotas in reversing this ugly trend.
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