The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal three and six which focuses on reducing road traffic injuries and deaths by 2020 may be a mirage if the carnage on the roads is not given the needed attention.
This is because injuries resulting from road accidents have been identified as the leading cause of deaths and disabilities among young adults in Ghana.
Head of Trauma and Orthopedics at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Dr. Dominic Konadu-Yeboah, says the situation poses a public health concern and has charged journalists to intensify public education aimed at preventing and minimising the impact of road accidents to help achieve the SDGs.
Dr Konadu-Yeboah was speaking at a 3-day workshop organised by the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons for journalists from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions in Tamale.
Injuries have become an epidemic in developing countries nearly causing more than five million deaths each year roughly equal to the number of deaths from HIV, malaria and Tuberculosis. Because of the well recognized burden of infectious diseases and malnutrition, the effect of trauma and injuries on premature mortality and long term disability are often overlooked.
Such fatalities occur in middle and low-income countries including Ghana with motor vehicle accidents contributing to the number.
Greater Accra and Upper East regions are said to be leading in terms of injuries from road traffic and this according to experts needs greater attention.
Dr. Konadu-Yeboah said the workshop is therefore organised to equip journalists with the needed knowledge to be better positioned and put spotlights on reducing the trend.
“The sad aspect of this is that these injuries affect healthy young adult that are the breadwinners of their families and on whom our economy hinges. So we need to create awareness for people to observe injury preventable strategies so that we can reduce the high rate of injuries in our communities and help save lives and help prevent disabilities”, Dr. Konadu-Yeboah stressed.
Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at Tema General Hospital, Dr. Francis Odei-Ansong said a second in the life of an injured person at accident scenes counts.
He charged journalists and media outlets to use their medium to educate the public on the dos and don’ts during accidents.
Dr Odei-Ansong urged persons and rescuers at accident scenes to provide timely intervention to help save more lives.
The workshop equipped journalists with topics including fractures, joint dislocation, diagnosis and care of trauma patients, injury prevention and myths and facts of fractures. It forms part of a project dubbed “Paediatric Fracture Solutions of Ghana Project” initiated by AO Alliance, a development Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
The core objective is to improve care for the injured in middle and low-income countries. It further seeks to reduce and prevent disability, morbidity, and mortality from paediatric trauma-related cases through education, as well as improving clinical care by doctors, nurses, allied health workers, first interveners and primary caregivers.
Story: Joyce Kantam Kolamong.