The division of injury prevention and mental health of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention [China CDC) has been designated as the first official WHO collaboration centre on injury prevention in China, and one of just five centres of collaboration on injury prevention worldwide.
Collaboration will focus on preventing downing, falls and road traffic injuries, including through developing guidance, capacity building support to countries in the WHO Western Pacific Region, cultivating a network of professionals to provide guidance on drowning prevention, and research on road safety strategies for some of the most vulnerable road users.
“The deepening collaboration on injury prevention between the World Health Organization and China CDC reflects the depth of knowledge and reach of our partners, and the proven results in research and collaboration we’ve achieved together. Looking forward, our shared work is key to reducing the burden of injuries and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in China, the WHO Western Pacific Region, and globally,” said Dr Fangfang Luo, WHO Technical Officer on Safety and Mobility.
The WHO Western Pacific region accounts for 25% of the world’s annual 1.9 million road traffic deaths. Yet despite a 5% drop in the number of deaths worldwide since 2010, road traffic injuries remain the world’s leading killer of children and youth aged 5-29.
Drowning is a preventable tragedy that claims almost 236 000 lives each year, most of them young children in low- and middle-income countries. While many of these tragedies go unreported, drowning is the sixth leading cause of death for those aged 5 -14 years globally. Scaling up investment for drowning prevention could save up to 774 000 young lives by 2050.
Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths globally, with an estimated 684 000 people being killed in falls each. Over 80% of these fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries. Adults older than 60 years of age suffer the greatest number of fatal falls.
The designation of China CDC as a WHO collaborating centre on injury prevention comes after a series of recent joint initiatives, including a bi-regional status report on drowning prevention, a road traffic injury status report on the elderly in China and evaluations on the use of helmets among e-bike riders.