Road traffic accidents revealed to be the biggest killer of teenagers globally
A new report by the World Health Organization has revealed that traffic accidents kill more adolescents than respiratory infections or suicide
Road traffic injuries are the biggest killer of teenagers globally, data released by the World Health Organization reveals.
The WHO report found that over 3,000 adolescents die every day, totaling 1.2 million deaths a year from largely preventable causes.
Road traffic injuries, lower respiratory infections, and suicide are the biggest causes of death among adolescents with road injury fatalities disproportionately affecting young males.
In 2015, road injuries were the leading cause of adolescent death globally among 10–19-year-olds, resulting in approximately 115,000 adolescent deaths with older males aged 15 to 19 the worst affected.
Most young people killed in road crashes were vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Over two-thirds of the 3,000 deaths that occur daily happen in low-and middle-income countries in Africa and South East Asia. However, the WHO report states that road injuries are still the leading cause of adolescent death in high income countries such as the UK, followed by suicide, interpersonal violence, congenital anomalies and leukaemia.
The report states that globally, most of the deaths could be prevented with good health services, education and social support. But in many cases, adolescents who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, or poor nutrition cannot obtain critical prevention and care services – either because the services do not exist, or because they do not know about them.
Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, WHO, said: “Adolescents have been entirely absent from national health plans for decades.”
He added: “Relatively small investments focused on adolescents now will not only result in healthy and empowered adults who thrive and contribute positively to their communities, but it will also result in healthier future generations, yielding enormous returns.”
The Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents report was produced by the WHO in collaboration with UNaids, Unesco, UNFPA, Unicef, UN Women, World Bank, the Every Woman, Every Child initiative and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health.