Injury is the leading cause of death and long term disability in children and people of working age in Australia. There is a major overlap of risk factors and prevention strategies between injury and chronic disease, and injury can also lead to chronic ill-health and long-term persisting conditions.
Injury Prevention and Control was endorsed as a National Priority Area by the Australian Health Ministers in 1996. Yet, while acute trauma systems have significantly improved our management of injury, we are seriously lagging on injury prevention.
Despite the massive human and economic burden injury places on the individual, health system and communities, there is no national coordinating agency for injury.
The AIPN therefore supports the recommendations of the Prevention 1st coalition, and take this further by urging action by all parties on the prevention of injury.
We ask the Government to:
1. Appoint a national agency to coordinate injury prevention activities nationally and drive evidence based policy and programs;
2. Develop and fund new strategies on the prevention of injury including a key focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
3. Take dedicated action to support the call from the UN General Assembly and its Member States to support Sustainable Development Goal target 3.6, which aims to reduce global road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020 and SDG target 11.2, which aims to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all by 2030.
Finally, the National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) produces high quality reports on the burden and risk factors for injury, and we urge the strengthening, and long term commitment to injury surveillance, via NISU.
We echo and support the Prevention 1st Coalition stance that: If we care at all about health, then we must put prevention first.
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