3rd European Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

20/06/11

Dr. Gabriella Pall of the National Institute of Child Health, Hungary.

Injury experts and key stakeholders from 40 countries gather in Budapest Hungary on June 16 and 17 for the 3rd European Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion to share what works, to examine facilitators and barriers to implementing good practices, as well as cross-cutting issues that impact injury and its prevention.

Opening presentations were well received and demonstrated that the field of injury prevention is advancing beyond promoting what has been proven to work, to examining what actions need to be taken to enhance the uptake of injury prevention and to address common barriers to implementation.

The World Health Organisation indicated that injury reductions are occurring in the European Region, but more still needs to be done, particularly in the area of inequalities.  "Europe has some of the lowest injury rates in the world, yet inequalities create the largest burden for children in Europe," stated Dr. Dinish Sethi of WHO. 

Dr. Brigitte Buhmann Director of the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention provided an example of strong commitment from her country.  Switzerland will implement a clear strategy for injury prevention which will be supported by an established network at the national and regional levels with an annual investment of 20 million Euro.  

Dr. Gabriella Pall provided an overview of the development and implementation of Hungary’s child safety action plan, indicating it was a key facilitator to have the plan included in the National Health Strategy.  Challenges she cited included the lack of an established network to carry out the plan, and too few resources.

An afternoon session on cross-cutting issues brought thought-provoking statements from new areas of research undertaken by Dr Michal Molcho of the National University of Ireland. The research, undertaken in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, relates to the socio-economic determinants of injuries in the European Region. Dr. Molcho stated that inequalities are still evident at national and sub-national levels in the European Region, and "just because someone is poor, they should not be more likely to die, that is unacceptable". Dr. Molcho concluded by stating that governments need to make stronger commitments to invest in citizens and that higher injury rates were found in countries with higher inflation rates and low investment in public health and education.

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