Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

World unites to halt death and injury on roads

Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 set to save millions of lives

The  WHO Global Plan for The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 includes links to programs, publications, events, and more by a voluntary consultative process of partners. These partners include governments, international agencies, the private sector, and others.

[The editor was in a road accident back in her Peace Corps Liberia West Africa days, truck overturned and rolled over several times down a rather steep embankment. Very fortunately neither the driver, my colleague, or myself was seriously injured. However, my right leg ended up outside the vehicle, and underneath the truck. Nothing was broken, but I had 35 or so stitches in my leg because of shattered glass… Accident happened late at night on dirt road, driver had swerved to avoid oncoming car which was speeding in the center of the road…No ambulances up country…luckily a bus stopped…passengers got out, helped us in bus..and they turned around and drove back to town…to the hospital..t was the second time that night that this bus had stopped at an accident scene and transported people to the local hospital]

The Decade of Action link includes social media options (as Facebook and Twitter), advocacy and press materials, and highlighted publications.

From the World Health Organization (WHO) press release

6 MAY 2011 | GENEVA – On 11 May, dozens of countries around the world kick off the first global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. From New Zealand to Mexico and the Russian Federation to South Africa, governments are committing to take new steps to save lives on their roads. The Decade seeks to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries which experts project will take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020.

To mark the launch of the Decade, governments in countries such as Australia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam will host high-profile events and release national plans to improve safety and services for victims. A number of landmark national monuments will be illuminated with the road safety “tag”, the new symbol for the Decade. These include Times Square in New York City; Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro; Trafalgar Square in London; and the Jet d’Eau in Geneva, among others.

Curbing a growing health and development problem

“Today countries and communities are taking action vital to saving lives on our streets and highways” said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Road traffic crashes are a growing health and development concern affecting all nations, and the Decade offers a framework for an intensified response.”

Road traffic injuries have become the leading killer of young people aged 15–29 years. Almost 1.3 million people die each year on the world’s roads, making this the ninth leading cause of death globally. In addition to these deaths, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year. In many countries, emergency care and other support services for road traffic victims are inadequate. These avoidable injuries overload already stretched health services.

Global plan to improve the safety of roads and vehicles

“None of us should have to bear the grief and devastation caused by a road traffic crash” said Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability. “The steps outlined in the Global Plan for the Decade are immediately doable, and will do much to spare the suffering of so many.”

The Global Plan outlines steps towards improving the safety of roads and vehicles; enhancing emergency services; and building up road safety management generally. It also calls for increased legislation and enforcement on using helmets, seat-belts and child restraints and avoiding drinking and driving and speeding. Today only 15% of countries have comprehensive laws which address all of these factors.

Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists collectively represent almost half of those killed on the world’s roads….

Click here to read the rest of the press release

Vaccine for Road Safety


May 12, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Elderly Tend to Drive Slower to Make up for Reaction Time

Elderly Tend to Drive Slower to Make up for Reaction Time
Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0600

Narrowed field of vision limits ability to detect potential pedestrian hazards, experts say

HealthDay news image

Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Motor Vehicle SafetySeniors’ Health

April 8, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment


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