Injuries are one of the biggest killers in South-East Asia

PR 1507

Every day 5340 people die from injuries in WHO’s South-East Asia Region. The Region accounts for the largest proportion of global injury-related deaths and disabilities. WHO and Health Ministers from 11 Member States in South-East Asia are focusing on preventing injuries and promoting safety at WHO’s Sixty-third Regional Committee session in Bangkok.

“222 people die every hour from injuries in South-East Asia Region. Road traffic injuries are the biggest killer among all unintentional injuries. Of these, motorcycle-related injuries and deaths are the major concern for the Region,” said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia. “WHO is working with Member States to develop policies that could save millions of lives”, he added.

As many as 40 children die of injuries every hour in WHO’s South-East Asia Region. These injuries include drowning, road traffic injuries, falls and burns. The Region has the secondhighest rate of child injuries (49/100 000 population per year), behind the Africa Region.

Suicides and interpersonal violence are other major causes of injuries in the Region which need more political, financial and technical commitment for prevention.

However, country capacity to cope with the rapidly growing injury problem in the Region needs strengthening. Prevention of injuries and safety promotion need to be institutionalized. An injury unit should be established in ministries of health to implement injury prevention and coordinate with other sectors. Acute trauma care systems in most countries are inadequate.

Countries need to enact comprehensive legislation on injury prevention and ensure better enforcement of these laws. Acute trauma care and services at national and local levels need to be strengthened to ensure effective care and rehabilitation services. These actions will call for the involvement of the private sector well as civil society.

WHO is working with Member States to strengthen national injury-related data system development, including injury surveillance, health information systems and vital registration.

For more information contact:

Ms Vismita Gupta-Smith
Public Information and Advocacy Officer
WHO South-East Asian Regional Office (SEARO)
New Delhi
Tel: 91-11-23309401
Mobile: +91 9871329861

Mr. Chadin Tephaval
Communication Officer
WHO Thailand
Tel: 089- 9254082