In a bid to minimize death while sustaining life of victims of road traffic crashes through emergency response measures, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has begun the process of establishing one hundred (100) Emergency Response and First Aid Posts at strategic locations along the major highways of the country.
Eight of such posts are already completed and fully equipped with medical items, VHF portable two-way radio device, safety boots and bicycles.
They are located at Asuboi, Bunso Junction, Asankare and Juaso on the Accra-Kumasi Highway; Toje, near Kasseh, and Nogokpo on the Accra-Aflao highway; and Okyereko and Gomoa Ankamu, near Apam Junction, on the Accra-Takoradi highway.
These eight (8) Emergency Response and First Aid Posts which feed into major hospitals on the major corridors of Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Aflao, and Accra-Takoradi highways were funded by the World Bank under the Transport Sector Project (TSP) and are to respond to the needs of post-crash victims within the framework of the National Road Safety Strategy III (2011-2020).
They will be managed by the Ghana Red Cross Society with support from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), St. Johns Ambulance, Ghana National Fire Service and the Ghana Police Service on a 24-hour basis.
Inaugurating the facilities at Gomoa Ankamu near Apam Junction, Friday, the Minister for Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said the establishment of the Emergency Response and First Aid Posts which he also referred to as Trauma Centers, was triggered by the lack of capacities of the Ghana Red Cross Society and the National Ambulance Service to deal with emergency response issues within the context of providing medical care for road traffic crash victims.
The outcome of such deficit, he noted, is that crash victims are attended to either late or by persons without the requisite training who innocently offer to help these victims but end up causing more harm and in many cases death due to poor handling.
“The Road Safety Commission therefore undertook to strengthen the national capacities for post-crash care to victims of road traffic crashes through advocacy and resource mobilization with the view to equip the National Ambulance Services with dedicated ambulances for victims of road traffic crashes including training of Emergency Medical Technicians (ETMs) and install fully equipped First Aid Posts at strategic locations along the national road network in addition to training of respondents”, he explained.
According to Hon. Asiamah, though the target of the NRSC is to establish 100 of such facilities across the country, the agency lacks the financial capacity to execute all.
He therefore appealed to public spirited organizations and individuals encouraged by the gesture of the World Bank to include in their corporate social responsibilities, the establishment of the additional centers.
Hon. Asiamah who used the occasion to also launch the 2019 Easter Road Safety Campaign reminded motorists of the risks associated with the activities during the festivities and cautioned them of over speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol among others.
He revealed that the NRSC will in the coming days scale up its visibility with additional support from NABCO and other volunteers at major bus terminals and road corridors across the country to reinforce global best practices in road safety.
Keeping family safe and united
“We must embrace positive road safety culture that keeps the family united and ultimately the nation safe. Let us love our families and demonstrate that with good behavior on our roads. That way, our families will stay safe to support each other”, he noted.
He added “Let us work together to ensure that, we make the roads safer for ourselves as well as the public. Let us remain responsible road users and work towards achieving a zero incident free Easter festivities. Road safety is a shared and collective responsibility”.
The Executive Director of the NRSC, Ign. May Obiri Yeboah, on her part said the manhandling of crash victims has contributed to a large extent, the number of people who die through road traffic crashes, hence, the establishment of the facilities as part of their contributions to emergency services.
The eight (8) facilities, she noted, are being piloted to see how it will work before scaling it up to cover the entire nation.
The Secretary-General, Ghana Red Cross Society, Kofi Addo, also commenting on the facilities expressed the belief the number of death recorded through road traffic crash will be reduced with the coming on stream such facilities.
He said the facilities are there to address the health needs of commuters and therefore urged drivers to pass by any of the Emergency Response and First Aid Posts whenever they or any of their passengers complain of any health problem while traveling on the highways.