By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
Dr. Sven Young, University of Malawi, Haukeland University Hospital, CIH
Sven Young is part of a Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) project to educate surgeons in Malawi at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. He has been very active in both educating Malawian surgeons and in building collaborations that will help to better equip and modernize Kamuzu Central Hospital.
In 2015 the global average for traffic deaths was 18 per 100 000 people. In Malawi, it is nearly double that, 35 per 100 000. Young says that low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) account for 90% of the global total of traffic fatalities, with only 50% of the global total number of vehicles. But, he underlines, accidents that end up with deaths are just the tip of the iceberg – 20 times more result in injuries, many of which permanently disable the victim, with the inherent catastrophic economic effects for the person and their families.
Action is needed. Long-term goals and actions need to be undertaken. Young says that he hopes that the “2020” on the target indicator is a typo for 2030, and calls on high-income countries for commitments to help reduce the impact of traffic accidents on LMIC countries.