- Road Safety -
Traffic injuries are the second highest cause of death in Myanmar/Burma, after malaria according to Dr. Thit Lwin, Head of the Department of Orthopedics, University of Medicine, Yangon General Hospital. Now that an Agreement for Cooperation in the field of road safety and injury prevention has been signed between Tag and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, there should be a reduction in the numbers of injuries and fatalities.
“In the past 10 years, the number of registered vehicles has increased enormously in Myanmar”, explained Professor Thit Lwin, Head of Orthopedic Surgery at Yangon General Hospital and Project Manager for the Injury Prevention project at the Ministry of Health.“Road safety is a surging problem in our country,” he adds. Despite this gloomy picture, Prof. Lwin considers that now is a good time to take up the challenge. He is inspired by the central theme of the Global Road Safety Partnership Asia Road Safety Seminar. “It’s ‘Time to Act’ in Myanmar,” he asserts.
During his daily work as a surgeon, Prof. Lwin is a first-hand witness to the increasing number of traffic injuries. “According the World Health Organisation, Myanmar falls second after Thailand in terms of fatalities in South East Asia, with 1,638 deaths and 12,358 injuries in 2007,” he explains. The majority of road crashes take place mainly where the ban on motorcycles is not in effect. For Prof. Lwin, the severity of these injuries is also a serious problem.
“We are very happy to work with Tag to save lives.”
Prof. Thit Lwin, Director, Orthopaedic Unit, IMI Myanmar
Thanks to the efforts of Tag Country Director for Myanmar/Burma Michal Strahilevitz and Tag Regional Director, South East Asia Roy Ben Eliezer, Tag will be providing expertise to the Ministry of Health as it takes a leading role in developing the capacities of the Yangon General Hospital to respond to traffic-related injuries. In the framework of this collaboration, Tag will bring expert training in Emergency Medical Services and First Aid to hospital staff and will assist in the establishment of first response and ambulance units.
Further, a joint campaign targeting the general public will be launched with the Ministry of Health to advocate better driving practices and preventive behaviour to reduce risks on the roads. Tag will also work with the Ministry of Health to bring to the table additional key players such as the police, fire brigades, the Department of Transportation, the World Health Organization, civil society leaders and other key stakeholders.