WHO calls for effective prevention of injuries and violence causing 1 in 12 deaths worldwide  

WHO calls for effective prevention of injuries and violence causing 1 in 12 deaths worldwide  
By: Henrietta Afful

A new World Health Organization (WHO) Report says injuries and violence take the lives of about 12 000 people around the world daily.

The report;  Preventing injuries and violence: an overview, indicated that road traffic injuries, homicide and suicide are three (3) of the top five (5) causes of death among people aged 5–29 years.

In addition to this, injury related killers are drowning, falls, burns and poisoning, among others. Of the 4.4 million annual injury related deaths, roughly 1 in 3 of these deaths result from road traffic crashes, 1 in 6 from suicide, 1 in 9 from homicide and 1 in 61 from war and conflict.

Drowning is also an injury killer according to the report

Reacting to this, the Director-General of the WHO said people who live in poverty are more susceptible to suffer injury than wealthy people.

“People living in poverty are significantly more likely to suffer an injury than the wealthy,” Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

To this end, he indicated that health facilities have a role to play in order to address the issues of health inequalities.

“The health sector has a major role in addressing these health inequities and in preventing injuries and violence, through collecting data, developing policies, providing services and programming for prevention and care, building capacities, and advocating for greater attention to underserved communities” Dr Ghebreyesus said.

INTERVENTIONS BY SOME COUNTRIES

Many effective and low-cost interventions are available. For example, in Spain, setting the default speed limit for cities at 30 kilometres per hour is improving road safety; in Viet Nam, providing swimming training is preventing drowning; and in the Philippines, legislation to raise the age of sexual consent from 12 years to 16, in a bid to protect minors from sexual violence, is bringing positive change. However, in most countries, political will and investment are lacking as measures are not in place in sufficient levels.

Director of the Department for the Social Determinants of Health, WHO, Dr Etienne Krug called for accelerated action to alleviate the suffering of millions of people.

“Accelerated action is needed to avoid this unnecessary suffering of millions of families every year,” notes Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the Department for the Social Determinants of Health, WHO.

“We know what needs to be done, and these effective measures must be brought to scale across countries and communities to save lives” he added.

These were contained in a release issued on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 which also coincides with the 14th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, currently taking place in Adelaide, Australia.

WHO calls for effective prevention of injuries and violence causing 1 in 12 deaths worldwide  
Traffic injuries, homicide and suicide are three (3) of the top five (5) causes of death

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