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By Peter Barss, Gordon Smith, Susan Baker, and Dinesh Mohan. (£42.50 hardback.) Open University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-511982-7.
Injury Prevention: An International Perspective sets out to provide, “a resource for injury prevention that will be helpful around the world”. Although citing many examples from industrialised and high income countries, the book places much greater emphasis on the special needs of low income countries and remote and indigenous populations. The authors have the credentials and experience to allow them to accomplish such a task. Peter Barss, the first author, has worked in remote communities in eastern Canada and the other three authors have worked in a variety of low and high income countries.
The adoption of an international perspective to injury prevention and control is to be warmly welcomed. Injury is a highly significant global problem and in recent years, as infectious diseases have become better controlled, the importance of injuries as a cause of death has grown in lower income countries and indigenous communities within “developed” countries. The problem of rapid motorisation can only exacerbate the problem of injuries in the future. The problem of injuries is even more striking in indigenous communities in high income countries than in lower income countries: the stress of loss of traditional life styles, physical hazards such as the introduction of new equipment, and aggressive marketing of alcohol have had a cumulative effect. Indeed for the indigenous population of Canada, injuries are the leading cause of death in all age groups from 1 to 64 years.
The book divides into three groups of chapters. The first group considers the scale of the problem of injury, the …