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Child Injury Prevention

Launch of the first World Report on Child Injury Prevention in Hanoi

© UNICEF Viet Nam/2008/ DoanBaoChau
L to R: Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Dam Huu Dac; Minster of Health Nguyen Quoc Trieu; Assistant Director-General to the WHO Ala Din Alwan and UNICEF Viet Nam Representative Jesper Morch at the launch.

By Roshni Karwal

HANOI, Viet Nam, 10 December 2008 – A ceremony was held today in Hanoi to mark the launch of the first World Report on Child Injury Prevention. The report was jointly prepared by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Viet Nam, with input from more than 180 experts from 56 different countries.

The first of its kind, the report provides a comprehensive global assessment of childhood injuries and prescribes measures to prevent them. Childhood injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children and tens of millions of children require hospital care for nonfatal injuries every year – many of them are left with lifelong disabilities.

The event was attended by many local and international policy makers, experts and donors who work on issues related to child health and development. Participating in the ceremony were Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam Truong Vinh Trong; Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Dam Huu Dac; Viet Nam Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu; Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization Ala Din Alwan; and UNICEF Viet Nam Representative Jesper Morch.

Promoting a safe and healthy environment

The event began with a photo presentation on child injuries by UNICEF Chief of the Health and Nutrition Section Dr. Kayode Oyegbite, during which the participants paid silent tribute to all the children around the world who are suffering.

Participants were then moved by Kha Trung Kiet, age 13, who shared his story about witnessing a tragic boat accident in his village in Nghe An. The accident killed 19 children, ages 12 to 16, as they were crossing a river on their way to school.

“I lost many friends in that boat accident. Their lives could have been saved if they were wearing life-vests that were made available in the boat,” he said.

© UNICEF Viet Nam/2008/ DoanBaoChau
During the event, Kha Trung Kiet shared his story about how he lost several of his friends during a tragic boat accident in Vietnam.

Sharing strategies

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Truong Vinh Trong said, “Injury is the leading cause of death for children globally. The government of Viet Nam highly appreciates the efforts made by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization in developing and launching this World Report on Child Injury Prevention.”

The ceremony was followed by a workshop where experts from different parts of the world shared the successful approaches and strategies for child injury prevention and discussed the next steps on the global agenda.

“The launching of this report is very important for the prevention of child injury, which will help to further realize children’s right to live in a safe and healthy environment,” said Dr. Nguyen Quoc Trieu.

‘Have Fun, Be Safe’

In addition to the standard report, UNICEF and WHO produced a child-friendly version of the report entitled ‘Have Fun, Be Safe’, which aims to inform children between the ages of 7 and 11 about various types of injuries and how they can be prevented.

“When developing interventions that will protect children and prevent child injuries, we also need to consider the role that children can play themselves,” said Mr. Morch.

‘Have Fun, Be Safe’ uses illustrations, quizzes and accessible language to convey useful tips and life-saving advice to children about how to protect themselves from accidental injuries.




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