The increasing burden of injuries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: making the case for safety investments

Health Policy. 2009 Jan;89(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 Jun 20.


Injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in Europe. Within Europe, death rates due to injuries are 60% higher in Eastern compared to Western Europe. This is especially due to unintentional injuries such as road traffic injuries, which is the 2nd leading cause of death in those 5-29 years. The cost of injuries is estimated at 1-2% of GNP. Compared to the burden, the number and types of programs are limited in the Eastern European region. However, the literature reveals the existence of cost-effective interventions for regional and national policy consideration. This is a need to appreciate this problem and promote investments to prevent the high economic and societal costs due to injuries. Results from selected injury prevention programs have shown considerable success and these, if effectively adopted in this region, will make a significant difference in reducing the heavy toll of injuries on lives of people. This paper calls on aid donor agencies and governments to plan and implement injury prevention programs as part of their portfolio of investments, in the Eastern European region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Europe, Eastern / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Safety Management*
  • Wounds and Injuries / economics
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*