Regional News of Thursday, 23 August 2012
The Bolgatanga Municipality loses about $1.2 million annually due to motorcycle crashes, according to a study on the economic burden of motorcycle accidents, by some health and educational institutions in Ghana.
They are the Pharmacy Council, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana and the Upper East Regional Health Directorate. Dr. Koku Awoonor–Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, announced this at a meeting of road safety stakeholders, in Bolgatanga on Wednesday.
He said the study showed that 52 per cent of the estimates were accident-related cost, including property damaged and administration, while 48 per cent covered casualty-related cost, including medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of labour output, intangible cost and funeral expenses.
Dr. Awoonor-Williams said the study indicated that 98 per cent of vehicles registered in the municipality between 2004 and 2008 were motorcycles and the crashes involved mainly young males.
He said motorcycle accident was one of the 10 causes of mortality in the municipality with an average of six victims reporting to the Bolgatanga Hospital every day.
Dr. Awoonor-Williams appealed for an orthopedic surgeon for the hospital, which is the main referral health institution in the region. He said some of the persons who sustained injuries from the motor crashes were referred to hospitals at Bawku and Duayaw Nkwanta.
Dr. Awoonor-Williams said 54 people died in 2009, 45 died in 2010 , 54 died in 2011 and 31 died as at June this year in the municipality due to the crashes. Dr. Awoonor-Williams said the Regional Health Directorate had initiated the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) to help reduce the spate of road crashes in the region.
Ms. Rofina Asuru, Coordinator of the Programme, said between April and June 2011, 505 victims of road crashes reported at the Bolgatanga Hospital and that the LDP was working to reduce the rate of road crashes by 10 per cent by October this year.
She mentioned weak law enforcement, rampant violation of road traffic regulations, inadequate collaboration by stakeholders and riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs, irregular functioning of traffic lights, poor road conditions and ignorance on the part of pedestrians about traffic and road regulations as some of the causes of the crashes.
Mr. Denise Yeribu, Assistant Planning Officer, National Road safety Commission, said the Commission was working to reduce road crashes by 50 per cent by 2020.