Violence and injury prevention

Violence and injury prevention

Violence and injuries are the leading cause of death in the Western Pacific Region for aged 5-49 years and responsible for 1 million deaths annually or one person every 30 seconds. The highest rates of drowning are reported those aged 5-14 years; road traffic crashes kill more people aged 15-49 years than any other cause; and interpersonal violence is the fifth leading cause of death for individuals aged 15-29 years.

Deaths from violence and injuries are however just the tip of the iceberg. Tens of millions of non-fatal injuries occur, covering the full spectrum of severity and requiring various degrees of care and treatment, presenting an enormous cost to national health systems and economies.

Consequences of violence on physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health often last a lifetime. The public health priority for violence and injuries is currently far from commensurate with the magnitude and preventability of the problem.

WHO works with countries, supporting the development and implementation of national policies, programmes and legislation for violence and injury prevention, promoting public awareness and political commitment, and building national capacities in surveillance, intervention, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation.

The Regional Action Plan for Violence and Injury Prevention in the Western Pacific (2016-2020) recommends sustainable steps to reduce high national burdens of violence and injuries and introduce mechanisms to normalize and institutionalize safety promotion. The plan highlights the importance of intersectoral partnership, outlines strategic actions and recommends regional targets to be achieved by 2020.

Road safety

64%of those dying on the Region’s roads are vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Road safety fact sheet


78 000people died from drowning in the Western Pacific Region in 2015.

Drowning fact sheet

Intimate partner violence

24.6%of women in low- and middle-income countries in the Western Pacific Region have experienced violence by an intimate partner.

Read more on intimate partner violence here

Injuries and violence through the life-course

Featured publications

Regional Action Plan for Violence and Injury Prevention in the Western Pacific (2016–2020)

Road safety in the Western Pacific Region 2015

Violence in the Western Pacific Region 2014


Violence and Injury Prevention
Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila