The Caribbean is a unique region of islands and cays home to nearly 43 million people. A significant challenge facing this population is the burden of traumatic brain injury, which disproportionately affects younger individuals and carries a significant economic burden. A preventive measure to reduce this burden is consistent wearing of helmets. This study aims to assess TBI prevention through helmet safety in Caribbean nations in order to demonstrate the regional impact of public health solutions.
We assess the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and sought to evaluate CARICOM nations' TBI prevention through helmet safety with relation to public health, policy, laws, infrastructure, and regulations. We produced the Rolle Scoring System (RSS) to ascertain the influence of governance around helmet safety for TBI prevention. The RSS aims to provide a quantifiable method of how well a CARICOM nation is performing in efforts to reduce TBI. The RSS is broken down into 2 categories, with scores ranging from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). The range of possible scores a CARICOM nation could receive was 8 to 40.
Fourteen CARICOM nations were ultimately incorporated into our analysis. From the initial cohort, 3 were removed. These nations were Anguilla, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Montserrat. We analyzed values derived from the RSS, finding a mean Rolle score of 22. We further subdivided the nations into low Rolle score (8-24) and high Rolle score (>24). Trinidad and Tobago had the highest Rolle score at 29. Haiti was found to have the lowest Rolle score at 8.
Several Caribbean nations have demonstrated leadership pertaining to TBI prevention through helmet safety. The regional momentum of helmet safety in the Caribbean can serve as a model for other geographical regional blocs that share interests and culture to consider comprehensive approaches to public health challenges.