Violence and Injury Prevention

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Violence and Injuries are a major public health problem and cause death and harm to several million people each year. However events which result in injury are not random or unpredictable.

Traffic crashes, falls, burns and acts of violence such as child abuse, youth violence, intimate partner violence, and war and conflict are the main causes of injuries. Violence and injuries place heavy burdens on individuals, their families, their communities and the countries in which they live. However most of these are preventable.

Interpersonal violence is among the leading causes of death for people aged 15-44 years worldwide, accounting for 14% of deaths among males and 7% of deaths among females. Violence against infants and younger children is a major risk factor for psychiatric disorders and suicide. In 2007, over 234 700 people are estimated to have died in the African roads. The WHO African Region has one of the highest rates of road traffic deaths (estimated at more than 32 deaths per 100 000 population annually). Tens of millions of people are injured or disabled every year. Burns, drowning and falls are significant causes of morbidity and mortality all over the world. They are among the leading causes of death among children under the age of 15 years.

WHO works with partners in the prevention of domestic violence, child abuse and road traffic injuries. It is supporting country-level efforts to develop prevention approaches that focus on addressing roots causes of accidents and injuries. It also encourages the use of reliable data that will help determine priorities for interventions and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention strategies employed.