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Health ministry targets boda boda riders in first aid project

By Ali Twaha

Added 25th February 2020 07:33 PM

Alain Sibenaler, a representative from UNFPA said, investing more resources in the health sector and education will help boost the country’s productivity.

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Alain Sibenaler, a representative from UNFPA said, investing more resources in the health sector and education will help boost the country’s productivity.

 Benna Namugwanya Bugembe, State Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) (C) cutting a ribbon during the launch of Safeboda health camp launch held in Kyebando, Kanyike road in Kampala on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 as Maxime Dieudonne, (Left) and Ricky Rapa Thompson, Safeboda co-founders (Right) look on. PHOTOS: Shamim Saad
 
With increased cases of fatalities on the roads, the health ministry is planning to finance training programmes for boda boda riders to advance first aid treatment to accident victims. 
 
Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said in a statement read by Dr. John Baptist Nambohe, the commissioner for emergency medical services, that boda boda riders have been one of the first responders to accident victims. 
 
“We would like you to be the first responders to an accident victim. People die of small things such as poor positioning during the scene of an accident. The amended Road Traffic Act 2019, when it is signed into law, will provide protection when you act in good faith,” she said. 
 
“As the ministry of health, we want to commit to working with the boda boda industry so that health becomes a top priority. We shall get involved in first aid training courses and community sensitization on road safety,” she said. 

 Dr. John Baptist Waniaye Nambohe, Commissioner Emergency Care Services speaking during the Safeboda health camp launch held in Kyebando, Kanyike road in Kampala on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, as Ricky Rapa Thompson, Safeboda Co-founder (Right) looks on

Nambohe was speaking during a health camp organised by Safeboda in partnership with United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in Kyebando, Kampala district.
 
The five-day health camp launched on Tuesday aims at improving the livelihoods of boda boda riders through offering free medical services for their families and the nearby community members.   
 
Nambohe said research on motorcycle transport in Uganda shows that 91% of riders have transported a sick person to a health facility and 94% believe that they have saved someone’s life by riding them to a health facility.
 
“In most cases, boda boda’s provide a fast convenience during an emergency condition. It has been reported that you have helped pregnant women, very sick children to reach a hospital,” he said. 
 
“Despite this, we have noted that globally most of the road traffic crashes involve boda boda’s and most of the people who get affected are between 15 – 25 years of age,” he added. 

 Bosco Kasule, the in-charge of onboarding at Safeboda Academy (Right) explaining to Bugembe, the State Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) (second right) and other dignitaries about the repainting and branding of Safeboda helmets

 The ministry of health's annual health sector performance report for 2018/19 indicates that injuries were the third leading cause of admission in our health facilities. Last year, at least 107,000 injuries led to admission to hospitals.
 
Between 2011 and 2016, death due to motorcycle fatalities more than doubled. We had 570 death due to motorcycle accidents which increased to 1,170, representing a 51% increase in the five years. 
 
Ricky Rapa Thompson, a co-founder of Safaboda said that part of the training aims at giving riders the financial freedom to be able to develop themselves. 
 
“Bearing lots of kids with time affects any person financially that why we have training in family planning and financial illiteracy programmes,” he said.  
 
Alain Sibenaler, a representative from UNFPA said, investing more resources in the health sector and education will help boost the country’s productivity. 
 
“If you invest in health and education, you improve the productivity of the labour force and that makes the foundation for future growth. We are recognizing Safeboda as a key stakeholder in promoting social change in encouraging the power of community to improve social behaviour and that ultimately results in communities being free from violence,”

 Safeboda riders donating blood during the health camp 

“UNFPA and Safeboda with support of development partners and service providers plan to support about 15,000 boda boda riders and their families to enable them to make healthy choices. This will not only enable them to become agents of change but also equip them with the knowledge to mitigate and prevent gender-based violence and to promote good and reproductive health.  
 
State minister for Kampala, Benna Namugwanya (MP Mubende) the government is studying Safaboda’s mode of transport with a view of expanding it to other public systems of transport. 
 
 

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