By Asia Mustafah a student of Makerere University, bachelors of science and biomedical science.

It was a Friday morning when I was woken up by the saddening news of the death of a paediatrician who was travelling via the Gulu-Kampala highway; where his vehicle struck an oncoming truck. Senseless loss of lives because some careless driver was too rushed or too distracted to notice an oncoming car. Doesn’t that make you angry? A doctor whose family is now burdened by a tragedy that will change their lives forever. Needless to say that this outstanding doctor left behind a beautiful wife and a gorgeous son. He left a positive trail on the lives of his students as he was a well read and a compassionate lecturer.

This doctor is not alone; millions of people lose their lives every day to road accidents. Over 50million others are, arguably, the lucky ones, that is, those that are injured in road traffic accidents but hold onto their lives. However many of these injuries leave them permanently disabled or cause them to lose their ability to work, communicate, support their family, smile or have fun. On the contrary, according to WHO 1.35million (WHO, 2020) people never make it. Uganda loses 10 people per day to road traffic accidents, which is the highest level in East Africa. THEREFORE, ROAD SAFETY IS A PRIME ISSUE and anyone who loses their life to it will be missed!

We as the millennium fellows of Makerere University are working on innovating intelligent transportation systems to increase road safety through surveillance of driver’s behaviour and traffic law enforcement. Our project is in line with UN development goals and Uganda’s vision 2040. We also intend to do mass communication and education on road safety and first aid as all lives do matter! First aid is a factor that reduces damage to health and loss of life in traffic accidents. It is therefore necessary to make even the lay population ready to give at least basic first aid.

Experience-based first aid training should be conducted in three basic steps.

Check the situation (safety, number of casualties, the whole scene, context);

Act fast (if there’s anything that endangers the life of the patient unconsciousness, massive bleeding, lack of breathe);

Care (if the person is conscious and not bleeding, monitor the situation and ask about everything that can be important)-think about life threatening situations that maybe difficult to notice.

What to do if there is a traffic accident:

Watch out (care about safety of the rescuer as well as the safety of the victims, traffic accidents are usually very dangerous for any bystanders. It is therefore very important to follow all the safety rules.) Basic safety support action also has to be done before first aid – turn off the engine, warning triangle, check the airbags, flammable liquids and blood).

Act – when a situation requires immediate help (no breathing, massive bleeding).

Think about other risks and life-threatening states that might not be visible on the first sight (internal bleeding, spinal injuries).

Call the emergency line as soon as possible.

In conclusion, think about it; consider the importance of road safety and take action today by liking us on Facebook @VerecAi and following us on twitter @Verec_Ai for more tips.

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CB Reporter

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