Experience of Safe Community Movement in Korea
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Republic of Korea
Background: In 2017, there are more than 82 thousands patients visit in Emergency Department of Ajou University Hospital. Around 1/4 of them, which is 20,785 (about 60 pts/day), are related to any types of injuries. Most of them are discharged from ER after simple medical treatment. However, 16% of injured patients are needed further medical interventions including surgical operation, Intensive Care, rehabilitation, etc. Unfortunately, some of them might be not back to their previous daily life activity to be handicapped during rest of their lives. The injury mortality is 1.4%. Two third of the injury victims belonged to the age range of 15 to 44 years which is the economically most productive age-group and major financial support for their families. As emergency physician and trauma surgeon, we emphasize golden hour, which is 1 hour after injury. The time following an injury when prompt medical treatment has the highest likelihood to prevent death. However, unfortunately, the fact is that maximum proportion of these deaths occur before patients even reach the hospital. We, as Emergency Physician, have even no opportunity to provide any medical help for majority of injury victims. Therefore, preventing injury occurrence must be much more important.
International Safe Community: A Safe Community was launched as an official World Health Organization (WHO) term in their General Program in the 1980s. Co-operation between WHO and the Safe Community Movement was established in 1986 and formalized under the auspices of the WHO Collaboration Centre for Community Safety Promotion (WHO CCCSP led by Professor Leif Svanstrom, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) during the First World Conference on Accident and Injury Prevention held in Stockholm, in September 1989.
International Safe Communities serve as models for other communities to emulate. They have been certified as having achieved the seven indicators of best practice in injury prevention and safety promotion:
1. An infrastructure based on partnership and collaborations, governed by a cross-sector group that is responsible for safety promotion in their community 2. Long-term, sustainable programs covering genders and all ages, environments, and situations 3. Programs that target high-risk groups and environments, and programs that promote safety for vulnerable groups 4. Programs that are based on the best available evidence 5. Programs that document the frequency and causes of injuries 6. Evaluation measures to assess their programs, processes and the effects of change 7. On-going participation in national and international Safe Communities networks.
Summary of outcomes: Since the safe communities’ movement began in 1998, 403 International Safe Communities have been designated with a population footprint of 86 million people. One hundred and forty (35%) have maintained their certification. In Korea, there are 19 communities were designated as the International Safe Community in April 2019. The number of population is over 1/4 of whole population of Korea. There are 5 communities gave up re-designation after 5 years or 10 years following the first designation.