Zoleka Mandela launches Child Health Initiative Toolkit at Safety 2018
A new toolkit to support and enable the delivery of ‘safe and healthy journey to school’ interventions was launched by Child Health Initiative Global Ambassador, Zoleka Mandela, at the Safety 2018 World Conference, Bangkok.
Each day millions of children worldwide face the risk of road traffic injury and are forced to breathe dangerously toxic air. This unsafe environment is a major health threat to children on their daily journey to access education. The solutions to these global epidemics, however, are readily available and affordable.
The Toolkit is a global resource with the tools to enable safe and healthy journeys for children everywhere. NGOs, international agencies, public authorities and their partners around the world will be able to find step-by-step guidance to help implement the solutions and measure their success. It will support anyone aiming to create a safe environment for children, to protect them from air pollution, and prevent child road traffic injury.
The 13th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion (Safety 2018) brought together over 1000 of the world's leading researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and activists to share information and experiences and to discuss solutions. “Advancing injury and violence prevention towards SDGs” was the major theme of the conference. The event was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, and Zoleka Mandela.
The toolkit will enable any interested organisation to:
- Access step-by-step guidance for protecting children on the school journey, and implement the solutions to combat the harmful effects of road traffic;
- Use global best practices to reduce road traffic injury by deploying ‘safe system’ interventions proven to prevent road traffic injury;
- Use data to manage and evaluate programming;
- Learn from case studies including from low- and middle-income countries to provide guidance on how to overcome challenges and achieve success; and
- Identify initiatives that represent the ‘best-buys’ for child and adolescent health and which contribute to wider SDG and child rights objectives.
The Toolkit has been developed with The George Institute, along with many of the Foundation’s partners – including iRAP, Amend, EASST, ITDP and the World Resources Institute.
Launching the toolkit, Zoleka Mandela said: “Our children face unacceptable health burdens each day on the journey to school. They face the twin threats of poisonous air and traffic injury. We urge them to be more physically active, but our cities do not allow safe walking and cycling. In our collective failure, we are laying the foundations of ill health for generations to come.
“Today, here in Bangkok, the Child Health Initiative launches a set of global tools for giving children safe and healthy journeys. These are the best practice solutions which are proven to save lives. The question we ask our policy makers is, will you implement these solutions? Or are you willing to fail our children? For too long we have sat back and accepted the man-made epidemics taking place right in front of us. Now is the time to reclaim the agenda. To say: ‘This is my street’, this is the future we want. For our families, our children and the next generation we surely must not fail.”