Africa: Violence, Injuries Kill 5 Million People Per Year – WHO


Photo: The Observer

Post-election violence in Kinshasa, DR Congo (file photo).

Experts from over 100 countries around the globe have convened at Tampere, Finland, for the 12th World Conference on Injury prevention and safety Promotion.

According to Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Department for the Management of Non communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, the safety 2016 conference has brought together the world’s leading violence and injury prevention researchers, practitioners and advocates to discuss and share successful strategies which can be scaled up across countries to prevent violence and injuries and save lives.

While addressing reporters ahead of the conference he said that though violence and injury prevention is under reported, research indicates that violence and injuries every day takes lives of more than 14 000 people all over the world.

“We need to step up action to avoid this unnecessary suffering of millions of families every year, Injuries caused by violence, road traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and poisoning, among others, kill more than 5 million people every year, accounting for 9% of the world’s deaths ” He said.

He said that these and other injury-related causes are among the many that are going to be addressed by Safety 2016 conference(18th _21)” under the theme “From research to implementation”.

Dr Etienne Krug said that though globally violence and injuries affect all age groups, but have a particular impact on young people and those in their prime working years. For people 15-29 years of age, three injury-related causes are among the top five causes of death citing road traffic injuries as the leading cause of death , followed by suicide and homicide.

He further said that preventing violence and injuries will help much in attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through which world leaders have recognized injuries as urgent priorities for action.

He said that a number of SDG targets relate specifically to violence and injuries, citing set targets of reducing road traffic deaths by 50% by the year 2020, ending violence against women and girls, provision of safe and sustainable transport and end of violence against children among others.

Kelly Larson, The Program Director of Bloomberg Philanthropies said that effective strategies to prevent violence and injuries include setting and enforcing laws on a range of issues from speeding and smoke detectors to hot water tap temperatures and window guards, among others.

She however called upon leaders to regulate availability and use of alcohol, limiting access to firearms, knives, pesticides and certain medications and implementation of vehicle and safety equipment standards if violence and injury related deaths are to be reduced.



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