The increasing burden of injuries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: making the case for safety investments.

Department of International Health, and Center for Injury Research & Policy, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Health Policy (Impact Factor: 1.73). 07/2008; 89(1):1-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.05.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in Europe. Within Europe, death rates due to injuries are 60% higher in Eastern compared to Western Europe. This is especially due to unintentional injuries such as road traffic injuries, which is the 2nd leading cause of death in those 5-29 years. The cost of injuries is estimated at 1-2% of GNP. Compared to the burden, the number and types of programs are limited in the Eastern European region. However, the literature reveals the existence of cost-effective interventions for regional and national policy consideration. This is a need to appreciate this problem and promote investments to prevent the high economic and societal costs due to injuries. Results from selected injury prevention programs have shown considerable success and these, if effectively adopted in this region, will make a significant difference in reducing the heavy toll of injuries on lives of people. This paper calls on aid donor agencies and governments to plan and implement injury prevention programs as part of their portfolio of investments, in the Eastern European region.

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