Special issue of WHO-Bulletin on childhood injuries and violence

10/06/2009

The May 2009 issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization is entirely devoted to the theme of childhood injuries and violence.

This month's Bulletin theme issue seeks to promote greater attention to this significant public health problem and to explore ways in which this burden can be lowered.

Injuries and violence are a significant cause of child death and physical and psychological disability. Every year injuries and violence kill approximately 950 000 children (aged less than 18 years) and injure or disable tens of millions more as discussed in the recent World report on child injury prevention. This burden is particularly tragic because much of it is avoidable. Known, effective prevention and treatment strategies remain greatly underutilized, especially in low- and middle-income countries where 95% of child injury deaths occur. Several strategic directions are addressed.

There is a need to increase the knowledge base on the extent and outcome of injury, as well as risk factors that should be targeted with prevention efforts. Injury control must be better addressed in health policy and integrated into other major agendas. To be able to influence policy, there must be stronger advocacy in injury control. And to undertake sustainable injury control work, there must be sufficient individual and institutional capacity.

The increased attention that this Bulletin issue brings to the field of injury control is timely and will be followed closely by several important WHO-initiated events: such as the release of the Global status report on road safety (June 2009); the Violence Prevention Alliance's fourth milestones meeting (September 2009); and the first global ministerial conference on road safety in Moscow (November 2009).

The special Bulletin issue aims to convince those in child health and development that child injury and violence should be on their agendas and to enhance exchange on what works to prevent and treat injuries as well as increased advocacy and partnerships to confront child injury. Countries and governments are being encouraged to implement injury control policies and programmes that will actually lower the currently unacceptable toll of child injury.

More info: www.who.int/bulletin/en

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