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  1. Ivan Barry Pless
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ivan Barry Pless, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Y2V2; barry.pless{at}

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CDC and who join to reduce child violence

Child suffering is surprisingly common and may represent one of the major public health crises of all time. A study in Pediatrics (January 2016) estimates that half of all children experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence in the previous year. Earlier research in the USA suggests that children who experience violence are at higher risk as adults for many conditions including cancer, diabetes and obesity. However, until recently there has been no global agreement about the best approach to prevention. Now, the WHO has announced a coordinated plan that includes a seven-point strategy. It involves “many practical measures, such as implementing and enforcing laws that limit young people’s access to firearms; changing beliefs and values around gender roles; …. creating safe environments by doing things like improving housing; increasing parent and caregiver support; strengthening economies; shoring up support services such as treatment programs for juvenile offenders; and educating children in life and social skills”. The plan was initiated by the CDC and is being adopted by WHO, Unicef, USAID and the World Bank. In 1998, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study showing that childhood abuse and household dysfunction were associated with several causes of death in adults. In 2015, the CDC published findings about children in Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Haiti and Cambodia showing that between 2007 and 2013 about 1 in 4 females and 1 in 10 males experienced some form of sexual violence. Few received healthcare, legal assistance or counselling. CDC's director, Frieden, asserts that the same types of approaches used with infectious diseases could be applied to violence. “We need to be thinking of violence as a contagious disease and interrupt that cycle”.

A national trauma care system

Several US National Academies (Sciences, Engineering and Medicine) now propose a national trauma care system aimed at eliminating all preventable …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.