The Launch of the BIGRS Status Summary Report 2023
The Launch of the BIGRS Status Summary Report 2023: Road Safety Risk Factors in Kampala, Uganda
On 16th January 2024, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) through Trauma, Injury and Disability (TRIAD) Unit in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) held a workshop to launch the Kampala Status Summary Report 2023: Road Safety Risk Factors. The report highlights results from observational cross-sectional studies on road safety of two risk factors: speed and helmet use; and gives recommendations that can inform decision making and guide on how to make roads safer for all road users.
The event was graced by representatives from Kampala Capital City Authority including Mayors, Councillors, Town Clerks; Members of Parliament and Chairperson Parliamentary Forum on Road Safety; Civil Society Organisations; Ministry of Works and Transport; Uganda Police Force; Makerere University School of Public Health; Media houses including NTV, NBS, Monitor, The Independent, CBS, Capital FM and Next radio.
During his welcoming remarks, Dr. Frederick Oporia- Head TRIAD Unit highlighted that road safety is a concern to us all and to improve it, there is need for have high quality data on the risk factors. “This data should be shared with stakeholders especially those who are charged with making laws and policies in the country” said Dr. Oporia.
While giving opening remarks on behalf of the Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, MakSPH, Dr. Musoke David applauded TRIAD Unit several capacity building initiatives in the unit through Masters and PhDs and for engaging stakeholders at all levels both at technical and political sides. “Research statistics shows 12 daily deaths from road traffic crashes in Uganda. This is a big problem that necessitates us to join hands to address” said Dr. Musoke. He also appreciated the TRIAD Unit team for the great work done in research, and thankful to the partners for partnering and funding this work.
In his remarks Associate Prof Abdulgafoor Bachani, the Director-Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit. “The report being launched is not a stand-alone study but a resource to guide activities to undertake, monitor activities and what adaptations are needed to make inorder to make an impact in road safety.”
Prof. Abdulgafoor elaborated on the partnership between JHU_IIRU and BIGRS. Through this partnership, they have partnered with different cities mandated to collect observational data with technical support from the JHU_IIRU.
“It is one thing to collect data and have these reports but it is another thing to use this data to effect change. The most important part of collecting data is to make sure it is used. We are working hard to ensure that this data goes to the right people” said Prof. Abdul.
When sharing the overview of the Kampala Summary Status report, Mr. Bonny Balugaba – BIGRS Coordinator cited that since 2021, MakSPH working with Johns Hopkins with funding from BIGRS have been collecting observation data on speed and helmet use in Kampala to reduce road traffic injuries and fatalities. The report highlights result from an ongoing study that captured observations of two risk factors: speed and helmet use.
The report shows that the mean speed among speeding vehicles was high at 57km/h and that speeding was highest among SUVs. Speeding was consistently high on local and collector roads. Speeding among motorcyclists was low at 3%. Correct helmet use among motorcyclists was very low at 39%, but high among riders and almost non-existent among the passengers at 2%. The report shows that 94% of the reported road traffic fatalities in 2022 are vulnerable road users including pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists.
The report gives some recommendations include: enforcement of speed limit focusing on SUVs, local and collector roads, enforcement on correct helmet wear among motorcyclists especially among passengers, make the enforcement operations regular, visible and widespread, enhance enforcement efforts in mass media campaigns on dangers of speeding and not wearing helmet correct and monitor and evaluate the enforcement activities.
While sharing the overview of the outcomes data, Dr. Raphael Awuah- Regional Technical Advisor for Africa on Road Injury Surveillance- Vital Strategies shared the key finding from the police crash data where supporting KCCA, the team collected data over the years. Focusing on 2022 data, findings show that reported road traffic deaths increased, but there was a drop in number of serious injuries. Most of the deaths are motorcyclists accounting for 49% and pedestrians accounting for 44%.
Data shows that over 70% deaths and serious injuries were male which has been a consistent trend for the last 3 years. Deaths were highly reported among 30-39yrs and serious injuries frequently among 20-29yrs. Fatal crashes happen between 8-10pm and 47% fatalities occurred on the weekends (Friday to Sunday), identifying that speeding is high during the weekends. Findings also show that majority of motorcycle deaths were caused by motorcyclists and 40% of the pedestrian deaths were caused by SUVs and pickups. Areas where crashes happen most is at the junctions, roundabouts and intersections.
The event ended with the official handing over of the report to the Kampala authorities’ representatives who included Division Mayors, Town Clerk, Councillors. Directorate of Traffic and Road Safety at Uganda Police Force, Civil Society Organisations and Ministry of Works and Transport from the representatives from MakSPH, KCCA, JH-IIRU, TRIAD Unit.
Read the Report:BIGRS_Kampala Status Summary Report 2023
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