A Public Health Perspective of Road Accidents in The Gambia!!!
Alagi Yorro Jallow
Fatoumatta: Shock, dismay, anger follow reports of grisly and ghastly road accidents that have taken the life of a young female journalist. The foregoing mayhem on the Gambia’s roads is happening in a society that effortlessly combines incompetent and unaccountable leadership with corruption and a hubris and arrogance (from the leadership and their supporters) that belie the reality on the ground.
What is that reality?
Fatoumatta: That as incontrovertibly illustrated as recent as recently along the road infrastructure road traffic accidents increase dramatically in the country. People are dying on their roads because of incompetent and corrupt leadership who know that they will not be held accountable by those who are not only bearing the brunt of the incompetence and corruption but are only too willing to emulate the incompetence and corruption in their daily lives! How many of these public service vehicles were road-worthy and/or paid to avoid being grounded? It doesn’t have to be that way and those self-flagellating at the death and pain wrought on by the “accidents” know that.
Fatoummatta: The human toll and the material loss are monumental and irreplaceable. It is understandable that the view sometimes expressed that ‘human’ are not as important as human beings…and that consideration of the fate of objects should always be secondary to that of the alleviation of human suffering.
The pains and suffering will be much and enduring with too many road traffic accidents increase dramatically countrywide causing fatal deaths and injuries and people are in complicated grief and mourning of post-traumatic stress after a traffic accident. Humanity is bereaved. Amidst this loss and pain, it is not too early to start thinking about how to avert road accidents so frequent and similar tragedy occurring in the country has become notorious for pet terrible accidents of goods-laden passenger vehicles claiming lives are more prevalent recently.
The hackneyed suggestions are well known good roads, good vehicles, and good drivers; for most accidents are caused by a combination of bad roads, vehicles that are not roadworthy, and bad driving. Owners of passenger vehicles and their drivers should observe and discharge a special duty of care to themselves and required to address vulnerable road users and passengers.
Fatoumatta: However, there is one or two recommendation that has been missing over the years , as far as the aversion of disasters on road accidents are concerned: a total reconstruction of good roads, with an efficient successful motorcycle highway traffic patrol police officers enforce the vehicle and traffic law, such that the slope of deaths that causes to accidents to reel back while traveling . In other words, time has come for Government to reconstruct good road infrastructure countrywide with.
Fatoumatta: The death of an individual in a fatal accident on the spot, with others sustained severe injuries is such a sobering lesson on why we must deal with over speeding if the driver was at less than 100kph it wouldn’t have turned out this fatal, why we desperately need an emergency health care system in the country and why we need a universal healthcare system for all that can guarantee emergency health care and quality healthcare in public hospitals.
Fatoumatta: If we had emergency healthcare system-an ambulance that hovers around highway road all the time with trained medics that would have been available immediately after the accident-not sure the journalist would have died and if the level of system—an ambulance had the right equipment, we would have probably saved the lives of those involved in the accident.
Fatoumatta: It is an urgent task. A task that is more compelling in preventing road accidents and saving lives with effective enforcement resources in the highway patrol in reducing fatality accident rates. This is the best way, in the prevailing circumstances, to prevent further loss of lives in tragic spots all the time.
One can only hope somebody in government is reading and thinking. We mourn this loss. May God grant the souls of the departed eternal rest, and may He comfort the bereaved and grieving.