Development of national policies

Resolutions of the World Health Assembly, WHO Regional Committee for Europe and European Council Recommendations have put injury prevention in the court of health care sector.

With funds from the European Commission (EC), WHO/Europe developed resources and tools to support national focal persons across the WHO European Region to strengthen the capacity of health systems in developing national action plans and policies.

The impact of WHO Resolution EUR/RC55/R9 and the European Council Recommendation on prevention of injury and the promotion of safety was accessed in 46 countries. "Preventing injuries in Europe: from international collaboration to local implementation" was published in 2010. At the time 95% of countries had a national policy on road safety, and only about half or less had national policies on preventing falls (53%), poisoning (48%), fires (45%) or drowning (40%). Profiles from 46 countries are also available reporting the progress in national policy development, and there is also a searchable inventory of national policies.

Project outcomes were presented in 2010 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, to members of the European Parliament, staff from WHO and the Commission, country representatives, focal persons and NGOs. They agreed that prevention of injuries and violence is a priority area in the European Union and the European Region, and acknowledged that the collaboration between WHO/Europe and the EC had been of benefit to all Member States in Europe.

WHO also facilitated the sharing of experiences in developing national action plans, advocacy and surveillance, and building capacity and mentoring in the key areas of action plans, surveillance and advocacy through workshops held for Baltic/Nordic countries and for South Eastern European countries. Policy dialogues have been held in 7 countries for child maltreatment prevention, with a view to strengthening national policies in this area.