According to the latest data of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), the number of people killed due to over-speeding has increased from 58,000 in 2014 to 98,000 in 2018 whereas the number of people killed due to drunken driving has dropped from 7,000 to 4,200 during the same period.
Noting that MORTH data shows road injuries as one of the top four causes of death and health loss among Indians aged between 15 years and 49 years, doctors and community leaders called for making injuries a notified disease like TB and HIV/AIDS to enable close monitoring. Experts have called for a nationwide Injury prevention programme to save life and disability.
Expressing concern over the fact that the number of people dying due to over-speeding in India is increasing rapidly while drunken-driving deaths are reducing, doctors, public health experts and community leaders have reiterated the need to monitor the situation by making injury a ‘notifiable disease’ and institute a nation-wide injury prevention programme to not only reduce deaths, but disability as well, improving the quality of life of common people.
Expressing concern over the data Dr Manas Pratim Roy, Assistant Director-General, DGHS, MoHFW, said, “National Injury Surveillance, Trauma Registry and Capacity Building Centre (NISC) has been established in the country. The Government is working continuously for strengthening the system for ensuring prevention & management of injuries across the country.”
Adding further he said that between the speed of 50 km/hr and 80 km/hr, the chances of death in case of crash increase from 20 per cent to 60 per cent.
Experts say making injuries a notifiable disease will help monitor the situation closely as well as plan and implement graded responses to address and prevent them. “Road crashes and falls are among the top reasons of injury in India – road accidents are the 8th leading cause of death in all age groups, surpassing TB, HIV/AIDS or diarrheal diseases.
In 2017, 26,896 adults were killed only because they were not using seatbelts. Making injuries a notifiable disease will help monitor the situation closely as well as plan and implement graded responses to address and prevent them. Injury prevention is important to maintain the quality of life and prevent out-of-pocket expenditure for healthcare.
Injury prevention programs yield tremendous results: investing USD 10 per person in prevention programs can help us save nearly USD 3 billion in health care costs in 2 years,” said Dr H S Chhabra, President Spinal Cord Society, Immediate Past President ISCoS & ASSI, Medical Director Cum Chief of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi.