The 2018 Budget funding of $900,000 for a national injury prevention plan was a direct result of representations to government, media advocacy efforts and the publication of the first national report on childhood injury in Australia.
“Despite cost and harms associated with injuries, Australia’s injury prevention plan expired three years ago and we urgently need to reduce the burden of suffering and deaths arising from childhood injuries,” said the report’s co-author, Professor Kate Curtis from the University of Sydney.
Led by Professor Curtis, the Child Injury Prevention Alliance is a high-profile team of clinicians, researchers, industry partners and funders whose mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of childhood injury across Australia.
A national injury prevention will seek to reduce deaths and hospitalisations due to injury, which can happen in the blink of an eye.
The expertise of CHIPA’s members spans all aspects of injury, from prevention to reintegration, and the Alliance has a detailed strategy to reduce childhood injury through evidence, research and public engagement.
CHIPA and University of Sydney representatives held meetings across the country with dozens of State and Federal Ministers, Child and Youth Commissioners, Secretaries of Health and Child Development and senior executives in healthcare.
They also brought the facts of childhood injury to national media attention by generating 159 news stories over four days that reached a cumulative audience of 840,000 nationally.
In the 10 years to 2012 there were 1,759 injury-related deaths and 686,409 injury-related hospitalisations resulting in a national childhood injury hospital cost of $2.1 billion.
“A national injury prevention will seek to reduce deaths and hospitalisations due to injury, which can happen in the blink of an eye,” Professor Curtis warned.
“Even when their wounds have healed, injured kids often face ongoing issues such as chronic pain, physical limitations and psychological issues.”
Professor Curtis and CHIPA have already begun working with Preventive Health Policy Branch at the Australia Government Department of Health.