The Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Thursday reaffirmed Federal Government’s commitment to establish trauma centres in major hospitals across the six geo-political zones in the country.
Mr. Ehanire said, at a news conference to commemorate World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims in Abuja, that establishing the centres was to ensure that death and disabilities from road traffic crashes were minimal.
The theme of the ceremony is “Vital Post-Crash Actions: Medical Care, Investigation and Justice.”
The minister explained that the centres would be equipped with facilities and capability to provide advance medical services to victims of road crashes.
He said that Nigeria lost four per cent of its Gross Domestic Product, GDP, to road crashes.
According to him, crashes, death, injuries, disabilities occur disproportionately among the young, active and promising citizens between the ages of 15 years and 40 years.
Mr. Ehanire pointed out that the groups often affected in the crashes were the “economically-viable segment of the society and often the bread winners of their families’’.
He said that the emergency management policy had been adopted by the National Council on Health and was awaiting final approval and implementation.
“Many road crashes are preventable and often result from things which we do or fail to do at the appropriate time,” he said.
The minister said that preventive measures to road crashes included responsible behaviour of road users by limiting speed, use of seat belt, avoidance of drinking while or before driving.
He added that another vital aspect of road safety management was “crash scene investigation’’ in order to establish cause of the crash and also help in prosecuting and penalizing offenders as a deterrent to others.
“The lessons of post crash investigations help in planning, role modification and redrafting of existing legislation on road safety,’’ he said.