New Delhi: Traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries are major causes of death and disability in India and across the world. However, despite an increasing burden, injury prevention remains a highly neglected and underestimated intervention.
The Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) is undertaking a major country-wide initiative to address this neglected burden by educating, training and empowering people in preventing injuries.
The apex body of spinal surgeons has announced the launch of a country-wide injury prevention awareness programme that will work towards raising awareness about injury prevention and a spine-healthy lifestyle to reduce injury-related disabilities and trauma.
The ASSI has partnered with 1,000 institutions, including schools, colleges and industry bodies, based in 20 metropolises namely New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune, among others, to further the cause.
The awareness activities will include creation and distribution of pamphlets on injury prevention strategies and their inclusion in school magazines and newspapers; conducting poster competitions, lectures and workshops, facilitating street plays and conducting extensive social media campaigns, the association informed.
H.S. Chhabra, President, ASSI, said that despite the fact that head and spine injuries are a major cause of death and disability in India, the injuries have still remained one of the most neglected health crises here.
“Prevention of the brain and spinal injuries is hardly given any priority. Community-based prevention programmes can be a highly cost-effective way to reduce the burden of injuries. To address the lack of primary prevention efforts, ASSI is undertaking a major nationwide campaign that will help create more awareness about improving safety, behavioural changes and adopting spine-healthy lifestyles,” he added.
Under the programme, the ASSI is tying up with multiple societies across the country to create an army of trainers who in turn will undertake training and awareness sessions on injury prevention across multiple organisations, schools, colleges and universities.
The ASSI has estimated that one million people die and 20 million are hospitalised every year due to injuries in India. The financial cost of injuries is estimated to be between 0.29 per cent and 0.69 per cent of the GDP. However, a large number of incidents resulting in musculoskeletal injury, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury are preventable.