Consultation on Child Injury Prevention in CEE/CIS Regional Office
A consultation on child injury was organized in UNICEF Geneva on the 27/28 April 2006. Child injury and violence have been unrecognized as a major problem in several countries of the CEE/CIS region. Tackling violence and injury is vital to achieving the Millennium Declarations (MDG 1, 2 and 4), the WFFC Goals and is crucial to the achievement of all the rights of the Child (CRC). This is especially an issue in the CEE/CIS region as the IRC reported a threefold increase in the number of children with disabilities. Learning from the experience from other countries, where the prevention of injuries was addressed in a multi-sectoral approach and with partnerships, the Regional Office decided to bring together Colleagues from UNICEF Regional Offices of EAPRO and CEE/CIS, UNICEF HQ and country offices from Turkey, Armenia and Moldova and key potential partners - WHO-EURO and the European Child Safety Alliance.
This consultation aimed to assess the magnitude of the problem of Child injuries in the region and review what can be done in conjunction with regional partners. Experiences from within the region and other parts of the world were shared. Finally, this consultation discussed the implications of a potential involvement of UNICEF in the Region and the role of the Regional Office.
In two separate working groups number of questions were debated. The first group reviewed what had already been done to tackle injuries and violence, what information was available, what strategies had been successful and finally identified potential partners; The second group tried to assess how UNICEF could integrate injuries in its programmatic work, therefore, UNICEF’s role in addressing child injuries, the prevention mix and the level of intervention, the funding and other resources for child injury prevention. Consequently, the consultation defined the advocacy, the policy and the programming, the capacity development, the data analysis and monitoring and evaluation, and the funding needed to mainstream injury and violence prevention by a partnership between UNICEF, WHO-EURO, relevant NGOs and governments.
Evidence and risk factors
A lot of work has been done by UNICEF EAPRO related to child injury prevention. The experience available from these countries and the experience from high income countries in Europe will be very useful. Some of these strategies can be implemented in the CEE/CIS region and modified according to the local conditions.
Many common/standard risk factors were identified: alcohol and substances abuse, disruption of social norms, increased violence, risky and fatalistic behavior, migrations, poor governance, weak enforcement and regulatory mechanisms, unsafe environments, poverty and social inequality. The causes of injury follow a “life cycle” and are age as well as gender specific, and can vary from country to country. Enhanced surveillance at country level of age specific issues can help identify different causes to injury and violence.
UNICEF headquarters in conjunction with WHO and concerned NGOs should advocate for the Committee on the Rights of the Child to include the right of the child to safety, including child injury prevention in the regular reporting of countries. They should advocate with the UN for the appointment of a special rapporteur on child injury (and violence) prevention. The regional office should share with country offices global and regional strategies and commitments for their advocacy with government, civil society and the private sector. Country offices should appoint a focal point for violence and injury prevention within their offices, which would identify key partners and advocate for the mainstreaming of injury with all relevant sectors of the government and cross sectoral initiatives like PRSP and SWAP.
At all levels, evidence based advocacy should be strengthened, therefore strategic research should be put in place to address knowledge gaps, including evidence on cost-effective prevention strategies and best practices.
Policy and programming
Data analysis and M&E
HQ should coordinate with the Division of Policy and Planning to include the indicators on injury and violence into the MICS, DHS and other household surveys. HQ should coordinate with the WB on developing monitoring systems and analysis of cost saving to economies by preventing injuries.
At the three levels (HQ, RO, CO) in partnerships with WHO and concerned NGOs, analysis of data per age groups and gender, country per country should be conducted.
If all the CEE/CIS Countries had Sweden’s rate of injury related mortality, then 75% of childhood deaths could be saved in the 1-14 year age group. Sweden's achievement is not an accident, but took years of work.
UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS organizes a Consultation on Child Injuries
In Serbia and Montenegro, particular attention was drawn to prevention of injuries, addressed in the manual published for parents, “Nezgode se desavaju: sta uraditi kada se dese i kako ih spreciti” (Prevention of childhood injuries.)