Noncommunicable diseases and mental health

NMH Newsletter

Issue 1, January 2011

Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability

3rd Global Meeting of Ministry of Health Focal Points

This meeting, held in London, United Kingdom, on 20-21 September 2010, convened 115 Ministry of Health focal points for violence and injury prevention from nearly 90 countries, 12 heads of WHO Collaborating Centres and WHO staff from headquarters and regional and country offices.

Participants exchanged ideas and information, learned about the latest products and tools available from WHO, and identified future collaborative activities of the informal network. The meeting also facilitated participation of many Ministry of Health focal points in the 10th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion held following the meeting.

Dr Etienne Krug, Director of WHO's Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, made a plenary presentation entitled "Violence and injury prevention: jointly building national programmes" in which he encouraged Ministry of Health focal points to take certain actions.

Plenary presentations showcased how select Ministry of Health focal points have defined their roles and made multisectoral collaboration work. Working groups focused on steps which should be taken on joint activities in four areas: developing capacities; improving emergency trauma care services; developing national plans; and enhancing the collection of data.

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, presented on efforts to prevent violence and injuries in Europe before formally closing the meeting.

WHO policy on the "Employment of Persons with Disabilities"

From 1 August 2010, the WHO policy on the "Employment of Persons with Disabilities" entered into force. In parallel with partner agencies in the UN system, WHO has introduced the policy in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Through the policy, WHO commits to providing improved access to employment, advancement and retention in the Organization, recognizing that it is in WHO's interest to recruit and maintain a diverse and skilled workforce representative of the diverse nature of society, which includes people with disabilities.

The principle of reasonable accommodation should guide managers and staff in achieving a working environment supportive of and accessible to all people. The policy's formulation involved an extensive consultation process through the Global Staff Management Council and the WHO Task Force on Disability, mandated to ensure WHO is barrier-free and disability is mainstreamed in technical programmes. The policy reflects WHO's zero-tolerance of stigma and discrimination of any kind.

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) the focus of Nigeria meetings

On 25-26 October 2010, WHO hosted a 2-day meeting in Abuja, Nigeria. Members of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and regional Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) networks, along with WHO staff, discussed the next steps regarding the dissemination and implementation of the CBR guidelines.

The new tool provides guidance on developing and strengthening CBR programmes; promote CBR as a strategy for community-based development involving people with disabilities; support stakeholders to meet basic needs and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families; and encourages empowerment of people with disabilities and their families. During the meeting, several concrete actions were identified on translation and dissemination, awareness raising and development of related training.

The meeting was followed by the 4th CBR Africa Network Conference, "Linking Disability, Rehabilitation and CBR", held from 27-29 October 2010. The CBR Guidelines were officially launched during the conference by Dr Peter Eriki, WHO Representative for Nigeria, Dr Iyom Josephine Anenih of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, and the wife of Nigerian Senate President, Mrs Helen David Mark.

More than 350 delegates attended the conference from over 30 African countries, plus representatives from Asia, Latin America, the Western Pacific and Middle East. As with other regional conferences on CBR hosted during 2010, this conference provided an opportunity for sharing CBR information, knowledge and experience and promoting CBR practice. To order hard copies of the CBR guidelines, contact WHO Press:

Preventing intimate partner and sexual violence against women

WHO and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine released a new manual titled Preventing intimate partner and sexual violence against women: taking action and generating evidence on 22 September 2010.

The manual was launched during the 10th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion and developed with input by experts from around the world. It outlines the nature, magnitude, risks and consequences of intimate partner and sexual violence, as well as strategies to prevent intimate partner and sexual violence. It presents a six-step framework for planning, implementing and evaluating such prevention policies and programmes.

The manual also emphasizes the importance of integrating scientific evaluation into all prevention activities to expand current knowledge of what works to prevent intimate partner and sexual violence.

This document is primarily aimed at policy-makers, programme planners and donors from public health and related sectors. For further information, contact Dr Alexander Butchart, To order hard copies of the manual, contact Ms Claire Scheurer,

Strengthening care for the injured: success stories and lessons learned

In May 2010, WHO released a new set of case studies that documents recent efforts to strengthen care for the injured from countries at various socioeconomic levels and all phases of care, including pre-hospital, hospital-based and rehabilitation.

Strengthening care for the injured: success stories and lessons learned from around the world seeks to increase the exchange of ideas among those working in trauma care and raise awareness on affordable ways to strengthen trauma care services, in particular by improving organization and planning.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

WHO marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2010 by announcing the upcoming date for the launch of the next World report on disability. The report, the first to be issued in decades summarizing the best available scientific evidence on disability, will be launched 9 June 2011.

To help build awareness ahead of the launch, WHO has started a social media campaign, including a Facebook page, and has released the first of a series of videos featuring women with disabilities talking about their lives. These videos can be viewed on the WHO YouTube channel (below).