The Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG) has launched a child road safety campaign to help save children from the dangers of using the roads.
The Child Road Safety campaign 2023 would involve Paediatricians and other health workers in collaborative efforts to end the increasing number of child victims of road crashes.
The Society is collaborating with the National Road Safety Authority (NSRA) and other key stakeholders to undertake extensive sensitisation on the worrying subject.
Dr. Hilda Boye, the President of Paediatric Society of Ghana, in her welcome address, mentioned that according to the WHO, a child died every four minutes from road traffic accidents, and enjoined all to take part actively in the campaign.
Dr. Kokou Amegan-Aho, a Consultant Paediatrician Haematologist, who is the head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child health, UHAS School of Medicine (SOM) launched the campaign, and said stakeholders needed to be concerned over the present fate of children using the nation’s roads.
He expressed the hope that the campaign would help to collate ideas to address the issue, adding that attention must be paid to the state of the nation’s roads.
‘There is a lot to do, and this campaign has come at the right time. It should bring innovative ways to prevent the trend of losing our children early to crashes’.
Mr. Bismark Elorm Sakitey, Assistant Planning Manager of the NSRA in the Volta Region, said in a report, that as of June, the national percentage of child fatalities in road crashes stood at 12.6 per cent compared to 22 per cent in the Volta Region.
He said human factors, including disregard for road rules by both drivers and pedestrians, account for the majority, adding that children remained among the most vulnerable groups.
The Assistant Planning Manager said parents should ensure the safety of their children in and out of school and called for effective collaboration with school management.
He advised children not to be sent out onto highways on errands and said child restraint for infants should be highly considered.
Madam Joan Fafa Ayer, Director for the road safety authority in the Volta and Oti Regions, said road crashes had a huge toll on the nation’s emergency services, and that the support of the medical fraternity was most welcome to drive interest in the campaign.
‘Having our doctors on board as advocates will help everyone know that it is the responsibility of all of us to; we all have a role to play,’ she said, and urged all to become advocates on road safety and join the campaign to end the carnage.
Dr. Emmanuel Oppong, Vice President of the Paediatric Society Ghana, commended the NSRA for the commitment and hoped all would join forces to ensure the safety of children using the roads.
Dr Richard Bright Danyoh, Acting Head of Paediatric and Child Health Sub BMC, Ho Teaching Hospital and chairman of the campaign, said a public engagement programme was being drawn for the campaign, including a stakeholder forum.
He detailed school visits, OPD and ward talks, the use of digital media, and open campaigns at markets and lorry parks as some of the modules for the programme.
There would also be durbars with traditional authorities and visits to religious houses.
Dr. Danyoh said medical professionals were considered role models and hoped their interest would encourage others, particularly children, to maintain safety on the roads.
The Society has also instituted a 1000-word essay competition on child road safety as part of the programme.
The theme for the campaign is ‘Road Safety-Teach the Child now!’
Source: Ghana News Agency