More than 5 million people die of injuries each year – most cases could be prevented

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 16.9.2016 10.51
Press release 141

Every year, tens of millions of people suffer injuries in different types of accidents and incidences of violence. These injuries often require hospital care, and many of them lead to lifelong disabilities. Additionally, over five million people lose their lives as a result of different injuries each year.

In Finland, approximately 2,500 people die of different injuries each year and approximately 800 commit suicide. One third of the deaths of working-aged people in Finland are the result of accidents, alcohol-related reasons or suicide.

What steps could be taken to reduce the number of injuries worldwide? More than 1,000 of the field's experts and researchers from over 100 countries will address this topic at the Safety 2016 conference. The conference will be held in Tampere from 18 September to 21 September 2016. The event will deal with the prevention of suicides, incidents and different types of injuries, including home and recreation as well as occupational and traffic accidents.

The theme of the international conference "From research to practice" encourages the use of research data to help in the implementation of practical solutions that will increase safety and reduce injuries..

Minister of Social Affairs and Health Pirkko Mattila will open the conference. During the conference, Minister Mattila will also meet WHO Europe Regional Director Zsuzsanna Jakab.

"Injuries, violence and suicides can be prevented with correctly targeted measures. For example, traffic deaths have fallen in Finland to under one fourth of what they were in the 1970s. The number of suicides, in turn, has dropped to half of what it was in 1990. National projects and prevention programmes are effective, and different action plans can help us save lives," Minister Mattila said.

A declaration will be issued during the Tampere conference, which will state the importance of preventing injuries and violence also from the viewpoint of sustainable development.

Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is the principal organizer of the conference working in collaboration with the World Health Organization WHO.

Follow the event and participate in the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #safety2016fin.

To the Safety2016 website (THL)

Additional information:

Ministerial Adviser Pirjo Lillsunde, tel. +358 5052 36207
Ministerial Adviser Wiking Husberg, Occupational safety and health, tel. +358 2951 63475
Ministerial Adviser Satu Leino, tel. +358 2951 63428