and TADDEO BWAMBALE
HOSPITALS in and around Kampala are increasingly admitting a higher number of motorcycle accident victims, according to a survey done by New Vision.
Mulago hospitalâ€™s casualty ward, which has an official bed occupancy capacity of 52 beds, now admits about 150 patients everyday.
The hospital receives about 300 to 500 accident victims everyday, according to Dr. Robert Wangoda, the head of Mulagoâ€™s surgery department.
Wangoda said about half of these are victims of motorcycle accidents.
The hospital is forced to leave many of the victims lying on verandahs and in the corridors.
â€œThere is an urgent need for more human resources, beds, stretchers and wheelchairs if the casualty ward is to perform effectively,â€ he said.
Nsambya and Rubaga hospitals also have a high number of motorcycle accident victims compared to other road accident victims.
At Rubaga hospital, five of every six accident patients admitted are victims of motorcycle accidents.
At Nsambya hospital, most of the accident victims either fell off or were knocked by motorcycles.
At Mulago Hospital, New Vision
At Rubaga, another patient called Brian Kafeero was knocked by a speeding motorcycle last week.
He sustained deep cuts on his head and arms. The cyclist fled the scene of the accident, leaving Kafeero in the middle of the road.
At St. Patrickâ€™s Ward in Nsambya Hospital, by yesterday, there were 14 casualties. Most of them were victims of motorcycle accidents.
Charles Ariko, a journalist, has been hospitalised for over one year at Nsambya Hospital after falling off a motorcycle. He dislocated his backbone and had to undergo major surgery.
Statistics from the Police indicated that an average of 10 people perish daily in road accidents in Uganda.
It is estimated that about 70% of fatal accidents in the country are caused by motorcyclists.
Accidents are gravely â€˜eatingâ€™ into the countryâ€™s health budget, with 62.5% of Mulagoâ€™s surgery budget going to victims of road accidents.
The hospital is also gravely affected since it has only 26 orthopedic surgeons and 15 neuro-surgeons.
More so, 2.7% of its GDP is lost in road accidents. Reports also show that 75% of fatalities are male, with 40% of these below 25 years of age.
BODA_BODA ACCIDENT VICTIMS, CYCLISTS SPEAK OUT
Jamal Kiyemba, fish monger at Zana
I was knocked off my motorcycle as I was going to collect fish. It is a trying time for me since my businesses have collapsed and I have no one to pay my medical bills.
My leg is buried in plasters and I have to remain in hospital for several other months before I can go back to my two children and wife.
Helly Ebega, security guard admitted at Rubaga Hospital
I was riding my bicycle on the Northern bypass in Kampala when a boda boda cyclist rammed into me from behind.
I fell down and donâ€™t know how I was brought to the hospital. I donâ€™t know what caused the accident because I was on the right side of the road.
Joseph Ilemera, boda boda cyclist at Sadolin Paints stage
Lack of respect between drivers and cyclists has contributed to a number of road accidents.
In most cases, taxi drivers intimidate boda boda riders, especially when over-taking. This forces the cyclists to swerve off the tarmac suddenly.
Ogen Odoi Malillo, a boda boda operator at Kyebando stage
The main cause of accidents is reckless riding, especially by cyclists.
The blame should also go to passengers for turning a deaf ear to the problem. They should be responsible enough to control speed and guide cyclists.
Robert Bukenya, a boda boda cyclist at Shell Jinja Road stage
Our roads are narrow and many cyclists are not trained well to ride on city streets.
The Government should construct separate roads for pedestrians and motorists. The police should penalise indisciplined cyclists.
Joseph Kayemba, admitted at Rubaga Hospital
I was involved in an accident while fleeing thugs who were chasing me in Kyebando last month.
I donâ€™t know whether I was hit on the leg by the passenger I was carrying or other people. I hit something that I donâ€™t remember and broke my leg. Doctors have recommended surgery.
Reagan Matajja, accident survivor at Rubaga Hospital
I was involved in an accident on Sunday morning when the motorcycle I was travelling on was knocked by a taxi.
I donâ€™t know what caused the accident because I lost consciousness after the incident. I used a boda boda so I could reach my place of work in time. I sustained severe injuries on my face, arms and legs.
Additional reporting by Viola Nabatanzi and Pascal Kwesigwa
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