The Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Nigeria, Dr Rui Gama Vuz has expressed commitment of the organisation to collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to address the challenges of authentic data on road traffic crashes in the country, saying the menace of road crashes has become a major public health issue to members of the global community.
Dr Vuz stated this while receiving the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi who was on advocacy visit to the World Health Organisation Headquarters at Abuja, as part of his sensitisation programmes to streamline issues of authentic data on road traffic crashes in the country. According to the WHO Country Representative, the challenges of road traffic crashes have become a major public health issue that require the attention of the government and non-governmental organisations.
He stressed the need for a credible data on road traffic crashes in the country, assuring that the World Health Organisation is in full support of the efforts being made by the FRSC to ensure a credible data on road traffic crashes in the country. “We would support the FRSC in its efforts to bring relevant stakeholders together to sit down, scrutinise, analyse and agree on the data provided all the agencies before sending it out as the true Nigerian data on road traffic crashes,” he stated.
“There must be unity in the reporting system with one platform where figures from every stakeholder would be analysed and the collation accepted by all before sending it as the authentic Nigerian data on road traffic crashes,” he added.
Dr Vuz applauded the FRSC for its role in managing road traffic crashes in the country, but frowned at the level of disobedience to traffic rules by drivers who operate with impunity. He therefore, urged the FRSC to sustain its efforts in enforcement and public enlightenment programmes in order to make drivers comply with the traffic rules and for members of the public to appreciate what the Corps is doing.
According to FRSC, he also advocated for greater publicity for the FRSC’’s activities through publication of its works especially in international journals, saying this could create the necessary awareness and public attention that could provide it with more goodwill.
To this end, the WHO Country Representative assured that he would support the FRSC to showcase its activities by creating a platform where the Corps Marshal would make a presentation before credible international donor agencies that could facilitate his efforts to upgrade and equip the FRSC’s’ rescue facilities as well as staff capacity building.
“Nigeria can serve as the example for other countries to learn from, based on what the FRSC is doing,” he further stated.
Earlier in his presentation, the Corps Marshal gave the detail of the Corps’ operational activities over the years and its efforts to have a unified and credible database on road traffic crashes for the country. He pointed out that toward this, the FRSC has been working in collaboration with other stakeholders, noting that the effort is yielding positive result with the inauguration of the National Committee on Road Crash Information System.
Oyeyemi called on the WHO Country Representative to support the efforts of the FRSC in the project of collating authentic data for the country, explaining that such feat is only attainable through effective collaboration with other relevant stakeholders.
While enumerating the challenges which the FRSC faces in managing the effects of road traffic crashes and provision of first aid treatment to crash victims, the Corps Marshal noted that the efforts of the Corps in the areas of enforcement and public enlightenment programmes have led to trending down of the rate of road traffic crashes in the country. He solicited the support of the World Health Organisation in the areas of staff capacity building, rescue equipment and medicaments for its facilities spread across the country.
The Corps Marshal was accompanied on the visit by some principal officers of the FRSC, including the Head of Policy, Research and Statistics (PRS) and the Corps Medical and Rescue Officer (CMRO) among others.