NEW DELHI: With road accidents among the three leading causes of death among people between five to 44 years of age, the Union Health Ministry has decided to come out with a National Injury Control Programme to provide special trauma healthcare services.
“Unless immediate and effective action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death in the world, resulting in an estimated 24 lakh deaths each year,” Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda said.
He said that one of the important reasons of increased mortality in developing countries like India included non-availability of trauma systems, which include care from the injury site till rehabilitation.
“Also pre-hospital care is absent in many states and there were very primitive ambulances and a lack of trained manpower,” he said.
Apart from this, in-hospital trauma care infrastructure presently cannot cater to the needs of “multiply injured patients” due to lack of trained manpower and resources.
Nadda said the new programme will address all these issues.
Road injuries and deaths cause a colossal economic cost of up to 1.5 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) in the low- and middle-income countries. The figure for India is close to 3 percent of GDP.
In India 52 persons died every hour in various accidents in 2014, the major causes of accidental deaths in India are “Traffic accident, “Drowning”, “Poisoning” and “Accidental fire”. India has the highest Road crash mortality in the world.
As per the statistics quoted in the report of the action for road safety, each year nearly 16 lakh people die globally as a result of a road traffic collision— more than 3,000 deaths each day—and more than half of these people are not travelling in a car.
About 2 to 5 crore more people sustain non-fatal injuries from a collision, and these injuries are an important cause of disability worldwide. Ninety percent of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which claim less than half the world's registered vehicle fleet.