International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths returns for its second year

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett at University of Dhaka, in Bangladesh

A month of activities worldwide has been planned to mark International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (12 March 2024).

International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (IAD4AD) aims to raise the visibility of indirect disaster deaths and missing persons worldwide.

Launched for the first time last year in Izumiotsu, Japan by the Avoidable Deaths Network (ADN), IAD4AD has been endorsed by the Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Mami Mizutori.

ADN is led by University of Leicester academic and Associate Professor in Risk Management, Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett.

The theme for IAD4AD 2024 is ‘Do One Thing’. Over 30 activities are planned worldwide throughout March led by ADN Advisory Board Members, Regional Coordinators and Operational Team Members from 33 institutions across 14 countries.

Activities will include rallies, seminars, chapter launches, community-building events, research, meetings, orientation, painting sessions, symposiums, field trips, competitions and training.

As part of this year’s festivities, a group of African poets have been commissioned to write a series of poems about some of the leading causes of avoidable death in the continent.

Dr Ray-Bennett will be travelling to Burujhari, India to launch an outreach programme on avoidable snake bite deaths throughout March. She will also be speaking at events held in the UK, Japan, Nigeria, Georgia, Bangladesh and Zambia throughout the month.

Dr Ray-Bennett said: “I am humbled by the ADN’s Affiliates, Regional Coordinators and Advisors for embracing the global campaign.  We have made huge strides in raising awareness around avoidable deaths from snakebites, drowning, and post-abortion complications during and post disasters. Raising awareness is the first step towards positive change.”

“It is a real thrill to see the global campaign come together. I will continue to pursue my dream until ADN’s campaign reaches 50 countries within five years. This awareness-raising campaign is about giving agencies to individuals to shine a light on avoidable deaths that are taking place in their localities and take positive actions.”

Professor Henrietta O’Connor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said:


“We are delighted to mark the first year of the ADN’s public engagement Global Campaign: International Awareness Day for Avoidable Deaths (IAD4AD) and join our members in more than 13 countries pledging to support it in March this year.


“Reducing avoidable deaths requires an approach that involves key stakeholders at local, national, regional and global level and progress is achievable because theoretical and practical solutions exist.”


“International collaboration for sustainable development is at the heart of the University of Leicester’s mission, and we are incredibly proud of our colleagues for shining a light on avoidable deaths and driving positive change in this area.”

More information about this year’s timetable of activities for IAD4AD can be found here.