Health

World Health Day 2004: ‘Road Safety is No Accident’

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Viet Nam
A small child too close to traffic.

World Health Day, 7 April, 2004 focuses on ‘Road Safety’ in response to millions of deaths, dismemberments and other injuries that occur due to traffic accidents.

UNICEF is one of hundreds of organizations working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise global public awareness about vehicle traffic issues - especially the fatal accidents that have claimed the lives of 1.2 million children, women and men around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization.

A large majority of these accidents occur in developing countries, among pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and users of public transport. 

However, WHO reports that the knowledge currently exists to take action on a number of fronts to prevent these deaths and disabilities, and that many programmes and policies exist to prevent road traffic crashes.

World Health Day is an opportunity for the global public to gain more knowledge about how to prevent traffic accidents in their communities.

UNICEF takes action in Viet Nam

In Hanoi, Viet Nam last month at an event to raise awareness for World Health Day, UNICEF reported that drastic measures are required to overcome the trend of increased road accidents.

“Road accidents have a devastating impact on Vietnamese children,” says Ms. Isabelle Bardem, Chief of UNICEF’s Childhood Injury Prevention Programme. “There are not only the high number of deaths and injuries that often result in severe disabilities, but also the thousands of children indirectly affected by their mother or father dying or being injured in traffic accidents.”

During the last 10 years in Viet Nam, the number of road accidents have increased fourfold. According to the 2001 Viet Nam Multi-Centre Injury Survey, 4,100 children died from traffic accidents: 11 children a day.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Viet Nam
Children playing in the streets of Viet Nam.

Promoting drivers’ education globally

At the national level, UNICEF together with the Ministry of Health, the Committee for Population, Family and Children, and the National Traffic Safety Committee are raising awareness on injury prevention and road safety. Posters and leaflets on road safety and helmet use have been distributed widely during the recent Southeast Asia (SEA) Games.

UNICEF is advocating the understanding and enforcement of traffic rules. It is also promoting safe driving behaviour by young people and helmet use, especially helmets for children. The common and high risk practice of motorcycle weaving and racing is the source of many traffic accidents.

World Health Day will bring needed attention to the area of traffic safety, and UNICEF will continue its work in places like Viet Nam to ensure that needless accidents that affect children and their families around the world become less frequent.

Related link

UNICEF is keeping children safe in Viet Nam


 

 

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