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NRSC establishes emergency response units along highways

BY: Daily Graphic
Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah
Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) is establishing 100 emergency response and first aid posts at strategic locations along major highways in the country.

Eight of such posts are already completed and fully stocked with medical items and equipment including portable Very High Frequency (VHF) two-way radio device, safety boots and bicycles.

The posts are located at Asuboi, Bunso Junction, Asankare and Juaso on the Accra-Kumasi Highway; Toje, near Kasseh and Nogokpo, on the Accra-Aflao highway and Okyereko and Gomoa Ankamu, near Apam Junction, on the Accra-Takoradi highway.

The emergency response and first aid posts were funded by the World Bank under the Transport Sector Project (TSP) and are to respond to the needs of post-crash victims within the framework of the National Road Safety Strategy III (2011-2020) and would feed major hospitals on the main road corridors of Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Aflao and Accra-Takoradi highways.

They will be managed by the Ghana Red Cross Society with support from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), St Johns Ambulance, Ghana National Fire Service and the Ghana Police Service on a 24-hour basis.

Inauguration

The Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, inaugurated the facilities at Gomoa Ankamu last Friday.

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He said the decision to establish the emergency response posts, which he also referred to as trauma centres, resulted from the lack of capacity of the Ghana Red Cross Society and the National Ambulance Service to deal with emergency issues with regard to providing medical care for road traffic crash victims.

He said the outcome of the lack of capacity was that accident victims were either taken care of late or by persons without the requisite training who innocently offered help but ended up causing more harm and in many cases death due to poor handling.

“The Road Safety Commission, therefore, undertook to strengthen the capacities of the three national institutions to enable them to give post-crash care to victims of road traffic crashes.

Through advocacy and resource mobilisation, the National Ambulance Service is being equipped with dedicated ambulances while training is ongoing for Emergency Medical Technicians (ETMs), with first aid posts also fully equipped,” he said.

According to Mr Asiamah, even though it was the target of the NRSC to establish 100 of the facilities across the country, not all the posts had been installed due to financial constraints.

Safe roads

Mr Asiamah urged public spirited organisations and individuals encouraged by the World Bank’s gesture to include support for the initiative in their corporate social responsibility programmes.

The minister also used the occasion to launch the 2019 Easter Road Safety Campaign. He reminded motorists to drive carefully and cautioned them against speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.

He said with additional support from personnel of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCo) and other volunteers, the NRSC would in the coming days scale up its presence and visibility at major bus terminals and on road corridors across the country to reinforce global best practices in road safety.

Be responsible

“We must embrace a positive road safety culture that keeps the family united and ultimately the nation safe.

Let us love our families and demonstrate that with good behaviour on our roads.

That way, our families will stay safe to support each other. Let us work together and make the roads safe.

Let us be responsible road users and work towards achieving an incident-free Easter celebration and always remember that road safety is a shared and collective responsibility,” Mr Asiamah said.

The Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways and MP for Ejisu, Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi, expressed regret about the increasing spate of road crashes despite the deliberate efforts by the government to improve the road network in the country.

"The ministry is disturbed because the more roads are improved, the more dangerous they become to lives and properties.

And this is because of indiscipline on the part of drivers who overtake wrongly, speed, park in carriage ways without warning triangles, overload their vehicles and disrespect traffic and warning signs,” he said.