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Next steps to advance injury and violence prevention
  1. Etienne G Krug
  1. Correspondence to Dr Etienne G Krug, Injuries and Violence Prevention Department, WHO, Av Appia, Geneva 1211, Switzerland; kruge{at}

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The postponement of the 12th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion was a disappointment to many. Finding an agency willing and able to take on the World Conference is never easy, as it is a major responsibility and a significant commitment of time and funding. I am pleased to inform the readers of Injury Prevention that discussions are well underway to identify a host agency for the 12th World Conference in 2016.

In the meanwhile, I am grateful that Injury Prevention has taken the initiative to publish this special edition. Reflecting on progress in the field of injury and violence prevention and on the next steps to be taken is always a useful exercise.

Injuries and violence continue to be major killers and causes of ill-health worldwide. The latest global estimates show that more than 5.1 million people lose their lives to injuries and violence every year. This is more than 1.7 times the number of annual deaths from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The rise in rank of injuries as a leading killer may, in part, be attributed to success in addressing other causes of death. For example, drowning represented only 7% of deaths among children in the Matlab subdistrict of Bangladesh 30 years ago, whereas it now represents 64% of deaths. Still, for people aged 15–29 years, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death, with suicide the second leading cause of death and homicide the fourth leading cause of death. For this age group, injuries constitute eight of the 20 leading causes of death.

Progress is being made, however, in some areas. Globally, we have slowed the expected increase in injury deaths, for example, as relates to road traffic injuries. The recently released Global status report on road safety 2013 showed that half the world's countries …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.