The road safety and first aid advocacy meeting held at THE MIRROR HOTEL on 21st July 2018, under the theme,” the road safety starts with you”.
It was organized by Healthy people Rwanda (HPR) in collaboration with International Medical Corporation Committee (IMCC FAIR). The meeting topics were designed to emphasize the role of road safety and first aid by involving many different concerned
The meeting started at 10am, with some of volunteers and various stakeholders in attendance as expected. A total of 35 people from the Ministry of transport, police, Ministry of education, Rwanda Federation Transport Cooperative (RFTC), Ministry of Youth, National Children Council (NCC), Rwanda Utilities Regulation Authority (RURA) researchers on Road safety, and media participated in the meeting.
After welcoming participants and encouraged them to hashtag our theme which was #roadsafetystartswithyou.Dr. Innocent NZEYIMANA explained the reasons why HPR & IMCC-FAIR were interested in Road safety and First Aid and emphasized the role of road safety and first aid education among the youth as a crucial way to decrease morbidity and mortality caused by road crashes as it is global concern recognized by the UN as highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He revealed that there is an ongoing research on road safety star rating near the schools to assess safety of schoolchildren to and from schools. The roads which will score less than 3 stars will be labeled unsafe for children, he explained, and this will help more in advocacy to the concerned institutions to make roads safe especially near the schools.
Representatives of IMCC FAIR, Mie and Nicolas, presented the organization’s activities, its involvement in the project and reiterated the need to decrease morbidity and mortality. They highlighted some statistics indicating the prevalence of road accidents, including the fact that more young people aged 15-29 die from road crashes than from HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis or homicide. They emphasized on teaching activities among driving schools teachers, training of secondary teachers and high school students about Road safety and first aid.
HPR in partnership with IMCC through FAIR project have done great job where 479 Health Club students (46.5% being males and 53.5% being females) from the 10 schools have taken part in teaching sessions. Moreover, 20 teachers from 10 schools, 2 from each have been trained, and in the coming year more 10 schools and 4 driving schools will be reached too. Over 3800 students have been reached through campaigns.
During the meeting, health club students and teachers gave testimonies and commended the course on road safety and first aid as a helpful initiative that has been substantial in reducing road crashes. They clarified that when health club students and teachers are present at school, their peers feel safe because they have somebody to help in case health problems occur.
These were followed by an open discussion on evidence based road safety interventions, effective use of funds and what to achieve individually and the society. At this time, stakeholders brainstormed and came up with ideas about road safety.
A representative from the Ministry of Education agreed that the ministry will convene a meeting and consider including First Aid and road safety in the curriculum of secondary schools.
The meeting was a big success and informative to everyone. And this should not be limited to Rwanda but also spreading to other African countries