KAMPALA – Prudential Uganda and Prudence Foundation on Monday donated 10-wheeler beds to Mulago hospital’s Casualty ward (Accident and Emergency) and over 800 safety helmets to boda boda riders as part of the SAFE STEPS road safety campaign.
SAFE STEPS is a public service programme aimed at raising awareness about road safety by providing clear and simple life-saving messages on road safety. In Uganda, the campaign is being implemented in partnership with the Uganda Red Cross Society.
According to the 2021 Annual Crime and Traffic/Road Safety report, motorcyclists killed in road accidents have topped annual fatalities statistics for the first time in the history of traffic in Uganda.
Of the 4,159 road accident fatalities countrywide, 1,390 were motorcyclists while 528 were passengers on motorcycles.
The report says the fatalities among motorcyclists and their passengers were 1,918, reflecting a 46 percent of all road accident fatalities.
This is what triggered Uganda Red Cross Society, Prudential Uganda and Prudence Foundation to launch the SAFE STEPS road safety campaign, to create awareness about road safety, by providing clear and simple life-saving messages on road safety.
In Uganda, the campaign which will run for six months starting 1? September 2022 to February 2023, targets 10,000 boda-boda riders within the Kampala Metropolitan Area (Kampala, Entebbe, Wakiso and Mukono).
Speaking at the event, Marc Fancy, the Executive Director of Prudence Foundation said Prudence Foundation aims to raise awareness, provide information and lasting solutions to life-threatening issues in the hope of saving lives and building more resilient communities.
“Statistics show that globally, 1.35m people are killed on roads every year and around 3.5m people die every year due to unintentional injuries. To be able to contribute to care for boda boda riders involved in road accidents is a direct contribution towards the reduction of unintentional injuries and we are excited to be able to contribute to this,” he said.
Tetteh Ayitevie, the CEO Prudential Uganda says Prudential is intentional about addressing issues that affect the livelihoods of the people in the communities in which the business operates.
“Prudential is intentional about doing good, we make this possible by making communities safer, more secure and resilient by addressing key issues in education, health and safety. Road safety aligns to the work of Prudential and are areas we believe we can make a real impact. We are happy to work with Red Cross with Support from Prudence Foundation to be able to not just provide trainings on road safety and emergency care, but also help Mulago hospital have more resources to take care of victims of boda accidents. In addition to the 10-wheeler beds that we have contributed to accident and emergency ward today, we are also offering over 800 safety helmets to boda boda riders, these will be used by the passengers.”
He notes that their purpose as Prudential is to help people get the most out of life and through protecting their customers to protect their health and wealth.
“It is impossible for someone to enjoy their health and wealth they have created if they get involved in an accident and don’t survive. We took the steps to try and train the Boda riders, and today we have extended that and added them helmets.”
Tetteh added that, “The provisions of helmets is to safeguard our customers who ride on the bike but we don’t end there because we understand that that whole experience when it happens in a wrong vein will end up here in Mulago and when these unfortunate victims of traffic crashes are brought here, how to treat them is different; from a walking patient.”
The Secretary General, Uganda Red Cross Society; Kwesiga Robert said that they are looking at how they can make the use of helmets part of the culture for road use especially those who use boda bodas but also help hospitals like Mulago, since they are the final caretakers of the accident causalities.
“We are trying to make the whole package complete in a sense that if we are to achieve our objective of making our roads safe, you have to start by making sure that people observe the road signs and understand the better use of the road but also people must have the skills in case of an accident on how to minimize loss of lives or even injuries.”
“At URCS, we are committed to road safety and recognize the rapid escalation of Uganda’s road safety crisis. Prudential Uganda’s partnership with URCS to implement the Safe Steps campaign by Prudence Foundation will go a long way in encouraging road safety and saving the lives of Ugandans,” added Kwesiga.
As the implementing partner of this campaign, URCS is ensuring that boda boda cyclists that undergo the Safe Steps skills-based training receive both road safety and first aid skills to equip them to not only prevent accidents on the road but also have an understanding of what to do in case of an accident.
Kwesiga encouraged all boda-boda cyclists and members of the general public to call their Toll-free line-0800 211 088 that is manned by a Call and dispatch center to operate a fleet of 21 ambulances.
Dr Byanyima Rosemary – ED Mulago Referral Hospital represented by Norbert Orwotho commended the donors noting that by giving them is a sign of the good work that they have seen them do.
“Uganda Red Cross Society has always been fighting with us on the forefront of most emergencies and we aspire to make the partnership stronger.”
She revealed that in the surgical and medical emergency areas they receive an average of 150 to 200 patients daily, which calls for more demands of the equipment.
Dr Byanyima appealed to her staff to take good care of the donated equipmet.
The Commissioner for Emergency Medical Services-Ministry of Health, Dr. John Baptist Waniye also commended Prudence Foundation and Prudential Uganda for implementing the Safe Steps boda boda road safety campaign in Uganda and specifically reaching out to the Mulago casualty ward with the Ten (10) wheeler beds donation, that will go along way in supporting the boda boda accident casualties that the ward receives almost on a daily basis.
SAFE STEPS was created and developed by Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential, in partnership with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Didier Drogba Foundation, working with Didier Drogba as the Safe Steps Africa ambassador.
Prudential and Prudence Foundation are implementing this programme in Uganda in partnership with Uganda Red Cross Society, targeting 10,000 boda boda riders within the Kampala Metropolitan Area (Kampala, Entebbe, Wakiso and Mukono). The campaign will run for six months starting 1st September 2022 to February 2023.
The campaign will also feature a series of 60-second public service announcement videos and educational posters featuring Safe Steps Road Safety Africa Ambassador, Didier Drogba, who offers advice on key road safety topics such as drunk driving, distracted driving, use of seat belts, respecting speed limits, motorcycles and pedestrians.