Aiming for Prevention: International Initiatives

Aiming For Prevention logoConference Report

Driving Change: Firearms Policy for Safer Societies
Durban, South Africa
March 31-April 1, 2006 (preconference)


IPPNW contributed to planning for a two-day pre-conference to the World Injury Conference "Driving Change: Developing Firearms Policy for Safer Societies", organized by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) of South Africa, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), and others. Organizers were pleased with the event, which brought together over 60 delegates from around the world to focus on strategies that can contribute to reducing firearm violence.

IPPNW affiliates presented 3 compelling oral presentations at the preconference. Papers were presented by medical student Andrew Pinto, Canada (who presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Peter Olupot-Olupot from Uganda), Emperatriz Crespin MD MPH, El Salvador, and Walter Odhiambo MD. In addition, Robert Mtonga MD of Zambia moderated a panel on reducing gun violence. Following Dr. Odhiambo's moving "One Bullet Story" case presentation of a Kenyan physician shot and treated by him and others at Kenyatta hospital, the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue offered to sponsor this victim's travel to the UNPoA Review Conference in New York in June to provide victim testimony at this important international policy conference.

IPPNW conducted a strategy workshop on "Prescriptions for Prevention: Health Professional Strategies to Prevent and Reduce SALW Violence," with a focus on capacity building for the IANSA Public Health Network, which is coordinated by IPPNW. Breakdown groups produced some excellent recommendations for the PHN to consider as goals for this coming year. These will be included strategy discussions of the PHN as well as in the conference summary to be posted on the ISS web site.

IPPNW hosted an evening talk and reception for attendees of the pre-conference on the health community's role in preventing small arms violence. Speakers included Robert Mtonga and Maria Valenti from IPPNW, as well as Anthea Lawson from IANSA.

We contributed to a conference statement on firearm policy that was tabled at the main World Injury Conference and will also be distributed at the UNPoA Review Conference.

A number of IPPNW delegates participated in a side meeting conducted by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue on survivor and victim assistance, an important aspect of IPPNW's care and rehabilitation focus at the hospital level.

Preconference Abstracts and Reports