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Although there has been broad recognition that Ministries of Health should play a key role as catalysts for injury and violence prevention—particularly in the areas of data collection, prevention, and services for victims—historically, not many have been in a position to do so. This is due in part because in most countries there was not even one staff devoted to these issues in the Ministry of Health. The World Health Assembly resolutions relating to the World report on road traffic injury prevention and the World report on violence and health—respectively, resolutions WHA 57.10 on “Road safety and health” and WHA 56.24 on “Implementing the recommendations of the World report on violence and health”—called upon governments to appoint focal persons within Ministries of Health to lead injury and violence prevention efforts in their countries.
Following the adoption of these resolutions, WHO Regional Directors invited countries in their respective regions to nominate and/or inform WHO of the nomination of these focal persons. To date more than 120 countries have done …
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