- Â 1 in every 4 road crash deaths in Africa occur in Nigeria, kills more than malaria
By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Minister of Heath, Prof. Isaac Adewole yesterday in Abuja raised the alarm about the high rate of road accidents in the country, saying that it is now the 2nd highest source of violent death in the country after Boko Haram insurgency.
The minister, who spoke while taking delivery of 31 Nissan Jeep Ambulances donated by the Japanese government to the Federal Ministry of Heath, backed his assertion with statistics from the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, that puts Nigeria among countries with the highest rate of road accidents in the world, with 5,400 deaths in 12,077 road crashes in 2015.
He also said that the 2015 World Health Organisation report revealed that one in every four deaths from road crashes in Africa occurred in Nigeria, saying it was a higher death toll than malaria.
The minister said in response to this ugly trend, the Ministry, for the first time in 2016, produced a robust policy on Emergency Medical Services including the use of Ambulance.Â
He said: â€œThe policy links emergency services personnel, trauma pathways, Integrated National Ambulance Service System, and the toll-free 3-digit number 112 to government agencies in the business of emergency services. This is to be coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Health. The policy further delineates roles and responsibilities of agencies involved in emergency response to eliminate interagency rivalry and ensure interoperability and synergy among agencies.
â€œThe private sector will participate in driving the implementation of ambulance services.Â The effective implementation of this policy will ensure an improved healthcare system that is needed for economic and social development. We shall leverage on Universal Health Coverage for access to EMS services.â€