World Health Day 2004: Road Safety is no Accident

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On April 7, 2004, hundreds of organizations will host events to help raise awareness about road traffic injuries, a serious public health problem with grave consequences and enormous costs to society. Globally, more than 1.2 million people are killed on the road annually. Millions more are injured or disabled. In some low and middle income countries, road crash victims occupy up to 10% of hospital beds. Deaths from all types of injuries are projected to rise from 5.1 million in 1990 to 8.4 million by 2020 - with road traffic injuries as a major cause for this increase. In the Americas, nearly 130,000 people die annually; more than 44,500 of them in the U.S. alone.

Yet the knowledge currently exists to take action on a number of fronts to prevent these needless deaths and disabilities. A global initiative dedicated to Road Safety will be launched on World Health Day, April 7, 2004. The initiative will include a global report, conferences and discussions in the United Nations General Assembly, and other high profile advocacy events. For more information, visit www.paho.org and select World Health Day 2004. 

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