Need to strengthen trauma care system for highway accident victims: Experts

New Delhi, Jan 15 () Absence of coordinated trauma services by various related agencies including concerned ministries is resulting in 'avoidable deaths' and long-term disabilities in about 4.67 lakh road accidents in the country each year, experts said on Wednesday.

Participating in a conference on 'Trauma care a National Mission', they said there is a strong need for strengthening trauma care system in the country to avoid these tragedies.

"During the year 2018, about 1.51 lakh persons died in the country due to road accidents, which were mostly preventable.... In India better coordinated preventive measures are needed including enhanced trauma services, and improvement in road and vehicle engineering " said I K Pandey, Director General Road Development and Special Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Inaugurating the conference jointly organised by the International Road Federation along with Ministries of Road Transport and Highways, Health and Family Welfare, FICCI and World Health Organisation as part of the ongoing Road Safety campaign, he said efforts were on to rectify road accident spots. Advertisement

"Ministry of Road Transport, as part of improving road engineering has identified more than 4,000 black spots on national highways and is going all out to rectify them in a phased manner taking all safety measures. The ministry will also conduct road safety audits to further improve road engineering," said Pandey.

Road Ministry as part of its effort to improve trauma service on National Highways has provided an ambulance, first aid service and one crane on every toll plazas, he said.

"It is important to infuse knowledge of road safety and first aid among the public and also in roadside facilities such as dhabas and among truck drivers, who are most often the first to reach accident sites. The Government on its part provides free healthcare to accident victims but more needs to be done," said Rajiv Garg, Director General Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Deputy Head of WHO country office, Payden said "it is seen that road accidents is the number one cause of death among children and youngsters in the age group of 5 to 29 in India. Most of these deaths are avoidable with preventable measures including better trauma services, giving way to ambulances and availability of ambulances during the golden hour.

"About 30 per cent road accident victims die after being discharged from hospitals, this needs to be taken care by rehabilitating them." International Road Federation (IRF) President Emititus K K Kapila stressed the need for extending Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), popularly known as the Ayushman Bharat to road accident victims in the country. Advertisement

"India accounts for more than 11 per cent of the global road accident fatalities. India is also a signatory to the United Nation's Decade of Action for Road Safety which aims to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent by the year 2020," he said. NAM DRR

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