Initiative for WHO-resolution on Child injury prevention


On 22nd May, the Executive Board of the World Health Organization, which is the major steering instrument within the WHO-governance structure counting 34 members elected by the 193 WHO-member states, strongly endorsed the proposal for issuing a WHO-Resolution on Child Injury Prevention.

The proposed Resolution, which was initiated by the Dutch government in response to the World Report on Child injury prevention that has been jointly launched by WHO and UNICEF in December 2008, calls upon the WHO-member states:

  • To prioritize the prevention of child injury within health policies and policies across government departments;
  • To ensure that national data collection across relevant sectors quantifies the burden of, risk factors for, and costs of child injury, and to assure that the resources available are commensurate with the extent of the problem;
  • To develop and implement a multisectoral policy and plan of action that contain realistic targets for child injury prevention, and include promotion of standards and codes on product safety, school and play spaces, construction regulations and laws, as either a stand-alone policy or plan, or incorporated within the national child health policy or plan;
  • To enforce, and if necessary strengthen, existing laws and regulations relevant to the prevention of child injury;
  • To strengthen emergency and rehabilitation services and capacities, including first-response teams, the acute management during pre-hospital care and within health facilities of injured children.

The proposed Resolution invites the WHO-secretariat to collaborate with Member States in improving data collection and in establishing science-based public health policies for preventing child injury, and to collaborate with Member States and nongovernmental organizations to augment the capacities needed to prevent child injury. The secretariat is invited to report progress made in implementing this resolution to the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly in May 2014.

Initiative for WHO

EuroSafe statement of support

At the meeting of the Executive Board, EuroSafe had an opportunity to present a statement as to the initiative for a resolution. EuroSafe, represented by its general secretary, strongly supported the proposal for a Resolution on Child injury prevention, as this will help to create global and regional synergy in policy directions and the much needed critical mass to move the issue forward.

EuroSafe called upon the WHO-member states:

  • To prioritise the prevention of child injury
  • To develop and implement national plans of action that include all appropriate legislative, social and educational measures to protect children from injury, and
  • To ensure that injury prevention is accorded appropriate funding within programmes for child health.

EuroSafe underlined that one key element in dealing with child injuries is to ascertain the magnitude and characteristics of the problem, in view of catalysing actions to prevent injury. As the health sector has unique access to victims of injuries, it has to play a lead role in making such information available and to comprehensively compile and disseminate injury data, as well as provide policy makers with the relevant evidence base for prevention.

Massive support by members Executive Board

n the meeting of the Executive Board, an unprecedented number of 13 members, among whom China, the Russian federation, the USA , Canada, the EU, Bangladesh, Mozambique and Mexico, took the opportunity to speak on the issue and to express, without exception, their strong endorsement to the proposed resolution.

Members from high income countries as well as from low and middle income countries underlined that the targets child survival programmes need to be adapted to the changed epidemiology, as today injury has become a leading cause of death and disability for children throughout the world. In particular the low income countries requested the WHO-secretariat to enhance country level support in developing and implementing national action plans.

A number of amendments and specific actions were proposed by the members. After a second reading of the proposed Resolution in the Board early next year, the final proposal for a Resolution will be put on the agenda of the Whorl Health Assemble, May next year, for final approval and endorsement.

More information: Child injury prevention: Report by the secretariat (PDF)

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