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Conclusion

As developing countries seek to improve the health of their citizens, the impact of violence on health can no longer be ignored. In 1996 the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution declaring violence as a major and growing public health problem across the world. A framework for approaching violence prevention was first put forth in the World Report on Violence and Health and has been further refined and expanded in subsequent reports including the World Report on Violence Against Children, the Secretary General’s Study of All Forms of Violence Against Women, and the chapter on interpersonal violence in the Second Edition of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. The 1996 World Health Assembly resolution was cosponsored by a developing country, South Africa, and a developed country, the United States; both recognized the importance of making violence prevention a global public health priority even before evidence of effectiveness could be collected. Eleven years after the resolution, both developing and developed countries have applauded and adopted many recommendations included in this series of reports, signaling the beginning of an exciting, new agenda for public health.

A great deal of progress has been made in violence prevention. There is strong reason to believe that the interventions under way and the capacity to implement violence prevention will make a difference.8 The lessons learned to date during public health’s short experience with violence prevention are consistent with the lessons from public health’s much longer experience with the prevention of infectious and chronic diseases. Violence can be prevented in developing countries if their governments, their citizens, and the global community start now, act wisely, and work together.8

References

1. WHO Global Burden of Disease (GBD) mortality database for 2002 (Version 5), Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Dahlberg LL, Krug EG. Violence—a global public health problem. In: Krug E, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R, eds. World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002; 3-21.

3. Krug E, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R, eds. World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002.

4. Deleo D, Bertolote J, Lester D. Self-directed violence. In: Krug E, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R, eds. World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002; 185-212.

5. Zwi AB, Garfield R, Loretti A. Collective violence. In: Krug E, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R, eds. World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002; 213-239.

6. Pinheiro PS. World Report on Violence Against Children. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations, 2006.



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