May 2002 AAOS Report

Bone and Joint Decade plans UN conference on global road safety

Some 44,000 people die on American roads each year. Globally, more than 800,000 die in road accidents, and millions more suffer debilitating injuries. The "Global Burden of Diseases and Injury," a five-year study published in 1996 by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization, predicted that by 2020 road traffic accidents will move from ninth place to third place as a cause of worldwide death and disability. Only heart disease and unipolar major depression would exceed them. To address this worldwide problem, the international Bone and Joint Decade (BJD) 2000-2010 is developing initiatives to allow collection of accurate, standardized information on accidents, fatalities and injuries. The Decade is working with the Global Road Safety Partnership to create programs that will minimize injuries and enhance road safety. Bruce D. Browner, MD, member of the Bone and Joint Decade International Steering Committee (ISC), is leading the planning effort for a United Nations conference, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 27-29, 2003 in New York City. Other members of the Executive Committee planning the conference include Wahid Al-Kharusi, MD, deputy secretary general, Pan Arab Orthopaedic Association; Eric Bernes, International Federation of Red Cross; Niti Desai, under secretary general, United Nations (UN); Karsten Dreinhoffer, MD, Ulm University, Germany, director of development, BJD; John Flora, director, transport and urban Sectors, World Bank; Odile Frank, PhD, UN, Marcos E. Musafir, MD, emergency and trauma chief, Federal University of Rio De Janiero; Etienne Krug, director, department of violence and injury prevention, World Health Organization; and David Silcock, Global Road Safety Partnership. The Bone and Joint Decade's role will be to organize the meeting, conduct fundraising for the meeting and coordinate publication of the meeting proceedings. "The conference is more than a year away, but we need time to get the message out to many different audiences," said Dr. Browner. "AAOS members need to be aware of the issues behind what is probably our most globally neglected health problem. I expect that this conference will help with that and is a first step toward doing something about the problem." AAOS members with ideas for the UN conference should contact Dr. Browner by e-mail at

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