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PROGRESS IN PREVENTING INJURIES IN THE WHO EUROPEAN REGION

Injuries are a leading cause of death in the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO), particularly in people under the age of 45 years. Every year about 800 000 people of all ages (235 000 in the EU) lose their lives from injuries, whether unintentional or intentional. Huge inequalities, both between and within countries, have important implications of social justice and inequity in access to preventive programmes. As a contribution to the implementation of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe resolution EUR/RC55/R9 on prevention of injuries in the WHO European Region and the Recommendation of the Council of the European Union on the prevention of injury and promotion of safety, a series of national assessments have been published, available via http://data.euro.who.int/injuryprevention/. This inventory collects policy initiatives undertaken at national level in countries across the Region by different sectors involved in the prevention of violence and injuries. It is one of the products of a joint WHO/EC project on preventing injury and promoting safety in Europe

WHO CRITICISED FOR FUNDING ALLOCATIONS

In a commentary in The Lancet, University of Queensland’s Professor Alan Lopez argues that the World Health Organization (WHO) must allocate more funds to non-communicable diseases and injury prevention. Writing in the 1 November 2008 issue of the journal, Professor Lopez, head of UQ’s School of Population Health, said that WHO is making a “substantial over-investment in the control of communicable disease at the expense of injury prevention, funds for which are virtually non-existent”. He said that injury caused 12–13% of the entire global burden of disease and injury, yet received 1% of WHO’s regular-budget and extra-budgetary (ie, donated, often by governments) contributions. Professor Lopez spent 22 years at WHO before becoming Head of UQ’s School of Population Health. He is one of the world’s leading experts on mortality and burden of disease, …

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