Disability, injury prevention and rehabilitation

Break Barriers, Open Doors: For an Inclusive Society and Development for All

Photo Credit: SNMRC

Over 1 billion people, 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. South-East Asia has the 2nd highest prevalence of disability with 16% having a moderate or severe disability, of which 2.9% are severely disabled. To raise awareness about the issues that people living with disabilities face, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is held every year on 3 December, this year being the 21st such day.

Persons with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating as fully and effectively as other members of society. Globally, efforts are being made to rectify this and to increase disabled people’s ability to participate in all activities. For example, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals requires the inclusion and integration of the rights, and well-being, as well as the perspective of persons with disabilities in development efforts at national, regional and international levels.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: 17 November 2013

Photo Credit - Santijiarakul S

Theme for 2013 - Lets have roads safe for all
334 815 people died from road traffic accidents in WHO's South-East Asia Region in 2010. Most of these victims were between the age of 15 and 44 years. Pedestrians, drivers and passengers of motorized 2-3 wheeler and car occupants are among the most vulnerable people on the roads.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2005, providing the opportunity to reflect upon the scale and devastation of road traffic deaths and injuries as well as their impact upon families and communities around the world. This is observed on third Sunday of November, every year.

Saving millions of lives: Decade of Action for Road Safety

1.24 million people die each year in road traffic accidents and data on non-fatal traffic injuries is weak, though it is estimated that for every road traffic fatality at least 20 people sustain non-fatal injuries. Low and middle income countries bear a disproportionately high burden of road traffic deaths. Without action, road traffic injuries are predicted to be the seventh leading cause of death globally by 2030.

• Road traffic accidents accounted for 334 815 deaths in WHO South-East Asia Region (SEAR) during 2010
• Middle-income countries have the highest annual road traffic fatality rates, at 20.1 per 100 000 population
• Young adults aged between 15 and 44 account for 59% of global road traffic deaths
• More than three-quarters (77%) of all road traffic deaths occur among men
• Half of the world’s road traffic deaths occur among motorcyclists (23%), pedestrians (22%) and cyclists (5%) – i.e. “vulnerable road users”

In addition to the grief and suffering they cause, road traffic accidents result in considerable economic losses to victims, their families, and nations as a whole, costing between 1–2% of the gross national product in low- and middle-income countries which is over US$ 100 billion a year.

Globally, 28 countries representing just 7% of the world’s population have adequate laws that address all five risk factors (speed, drink–driving, motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints). None of the SEAR countries has comprehensive legislation on all five risk factors.