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Road crashes climb top 10 chart

By: staff

Date: 2015-06-17

If you are worried about the safety of your family and friends focus your mind on road safety. Terrorism isn't even on the WHO top 10 list of death causes, but road traffic crashes around the world are moving up the list - from No. 9 in 1999 to an estimated no. 3 by 2020.

World Health Day is an annual attempt by the United Nations-based World Health Organization to focus public attention on a major health problem that otherwise doesn't get enough press. It's held on April 7 each year and this year's problem selected for the spotlight is road traffic crashes. More than 1.2 million people are killed on roads annually. Millions are injured. However, road safety is a low profile problem that has to constantly fight for attention and funding.

In September, 2003, representatives from more than 20 of the world's leading road safety organizations representing rich and poor countries, gathered at the WHO headquarters in Geneva to kick off the global road safety initiative. April 7, 2004 was the day the effort was slated to get media attention.

A plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly slated for 14 April 2004 should move the global traffic safety effort a step further along but there is concern that without a planned follow-up and deliberate steps to address the problem at the international level, the issue will, once again, fade to the background and traffic fatalities will continue their climb up the healh-concern chart.

The WHO has issued a report with specific recommendations for follow up. Some of the recommendations:

  1. identify a lead agency in government to take charge of efforts
  2. assess the problem, policies and institutions
  3. prepare a national strategy
  4. allocate human and financial resources
  5. implement specific actions
  6. support the development of national and international cooperation

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