WHO Urges More Effective Prevention of Injuries and Violence

November 30, 2022 by Dan McCue
WHO Urges More Effective Prevention of Injuries and Violence
An SUV rests inside an Apple store behind a large hole in the glass front of the store, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Hingham, Mass. One person was killed and 16 others were injured Monday when the SUV crashed into the store, authorities said. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

GENEVA —The statistics are sobering. One in 12 deaths worldwide are caused by some form of injury and/or violence, and when all those deaths are tallied, the outcome shows that traffic accidents, drownings, falls, burns and suicides are taking the lives of some 12,000 people a day.

A new report, aimed at public health professionals, injury prevention researchers, practitioners and advocates, and donors, aims to draw attention to specific, cost-effective strategies for preventing these injuries.

According to the World Health Organization researchers who presented the report at the just-concluded 14th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, it is critical that these strategies are more widely implemented.

“Accelerated action is needed to avoid this unnecessary suffering of millions of families every year,” said 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,” Krug said.

As outlined at the conference, which was held in Adelaide, Australia, three of the top five causes of death for people 5 to 29 years old are road traffic injuries, homicide and suicide. 

Further, injuries and violence are not evenly distributed across or within countries — some people are more vulnerable than others depending on the conditions in which they are born, grow, work, live and age; in general, being young, male and of low socioeconomic status all increase the risk of injury.

“People living in poverty are significantly more likely to suffer an injury than the wealthy,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, in a written statement. 

“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,” Ghebreyesus said.

Many effective and low-cost interventions are available. For example in Spain, setting the default speed limit for cities at just over 18 MPH is improving road safety; in Vietnam, providing swimming training is preventing drowning; and in the Philippines, legislation to raise the age of sexual consent from 12 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 at sufficient levels, the report said.

In order to induce more buy-in for prevention, the report includes an analysis of the costs and benefits for several selected injury and violence prevention measures that show they offer significant value for money, making investment in such measures of great societal benefit. 

For example, with regard to child injury prevention, a study found that every dollar invested in smoke detectors saves $65; every dollar invested in child restraints and bicycle helmets saves $29; and every dollar invested in in-home visitation saves $6 in medical costs, lost productivity and property loss.

In Bangladesh, teaching school-age children swimming and rescue skills returned $3,000 per death averted.

At the same time, the WHO’s research shows the social benefits of injuries prevented through home modification to prevent falls have been estimated to be at least six times the cost of intervention. 

It is estimated that in Europe and North America, a 10% reduction in adverse childhood experiences could equate to annual savings of 3 million disability adjusted life years or $105 billion.

“Although progress has been made in some countries in preventing injuries and violence, all countries should increase their investments in prevention,” the report concludes.
Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

A+
a-
  • violence
  • World Health Organization
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Health

    December 8, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    FDA Approves a CRISPR-Based Medicine to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

    WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the world’s first medicine based on CRISPR gene-editing technology for... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the world’s first medicine based on CRISPR gene-editing technology for the treatment of sickle cell disease. The new treatment, called Casgevy, was manufactured by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, of Boston, Massachusetts, and CRISPR Therapeutics, of Switzerland, using a... Read More

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome More Common Than Past Studies Suggest, CDC Says

    NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials on Friday released the first nationally representative estimate of how many U.S. adults have... Read More

    NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials on Friday released the first nationally representative estimate of how many U.S. adults have chronic fatigue syndrome: 3.3 million. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's number is larger than previous studies have suggested, and is likely boosted by some... Read More

    December 8, 2023
    by Tom Ramstack
    White House Threatens to Penalize Pharma Companies for High Prices

    WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced a plan Thursday to lower prescription drug costs in a move that takes a... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced a plan Thursday to lower prescription drug costs in a move that takes a tough stance toward pharmaceutical companies charging high prices. If the Federal Trade Commission determines the prices are unreasonable, the new policy allows the federal government to... Read More

    December 6, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    House Unanimously Passes Bill to Increase Mental Health Resources for Veterans’ Caregivers

    WASHINGTON — The House on Monday unanimously passed the Caregiver Outreach and Program Enhancement Act, which would increase mental health... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The House on Monday unanimously passed the Caregiver Outreach and Program Enhancement Act, which would increase mental health resources available to caregivers of America’s veteran population. Alternately known as the COPE Act, the bipartisan legislation sponsored by Reps. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., and Jen Kiggans,... Read More

    December 6, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    HHS Unveils Next Steps to Enhance Cybersecurity of Health Care Records

    WASHINGTON — The bad guys in cyberspace want your health care records.  Between 2018 and 2022, there was a 93%... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The bad guys in cyberspace want your health care records.  Between 2018 and 2022, there was a 93% increase in large breaches in the health care sector, with a 278% increase in large breaches involving ransomware, according to the Department of Health and Human... Read More

    December 6, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    New Report Sheds Some Light on Rare Post-COVID Shot Syndrome

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A study from the Yale School of Medicine sheds some new light on the rare, but... Read More

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A study from the Yale School of Medicine sheds some new light on the rare, but chronic and debilitating condition some people report experiencing after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. The paper, which was posted on the preprint server medRxiv and has not... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top