372 The impact of road safety campaign on motor cycle related road traffic injuries in Naivasha, Kenya
Walter, A O
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Background Kenya was identified as one of the ten priority countries in the WHO led UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020) that aimed at reducing global road crash injuries and mortality by at least 50%, through a systematic road safety campaign by 2020. The Road safety campaign in 10-countries or RS-10 as the campaign was known, targeted ten worst hit countries that together accounted for about 50% of global road crash fatalities. The Kenyan project dubbed Road Safety Kenya (RS–K) identified the highway towns of Thika and Naivasha as the 5-year pilot implementation sites. The project started in the year 2010, and one of the interventions was the campaign to promote the wearing of helmets by motor cycle (MC) riders and their passengers. Helmets have been shown to reduce mortality and severity of head injuries among MC riders. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of road safety campaign targeting MC riders since the year 2010 in Naivasha, Kenya. Methods Cross sectional observational study in which MC road safety compliance as evident in use of protective helmets by rider and passengers, use of reflective clothing by rider and passenger as well as the use of daytime riding lights was directly observed by the roadside. Results A total of 9280 motor cycles were observed from the 6 study centres during the 7-day data collection period. Of these only 18% (1752) complied with all the three road safety measures of wearing helmet by passenger and rider, reflective jacket and one pillion passenger at any single time. Helmet compliance was 42% (3,850) among the riders and only 9% (402) passengers wore helmet while riding. Males were twice likely to wear helmets than the female counterparts. Luminous clothing were widely used by riders (76.2%) while only 349 (3.8%) rode with the headlight on at daytime. Conclusion Despite the road safety campaign conducted in Naivasha between 2010 and 2014, the compliance with road safety measures among motor cycle riders remain low particularly among the passengers. It is probable that passengers were poorly targeted in this campaign due to logistical challenges or simply that the strategies that have been successful elsewhere are not applicable in this environment. It should be useful to establish from a hospital and mortuary based research if females have a higher percentage of mortality and severe head injuries due to poorer compliance with helmet use.
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