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Road Safety campaign launched

Deputy Minister of Health and Social Service, Petrina Haingura inaugurated the MVA Fund Call Centre on behalf of Dr Richard Kamwi, the Minister of Health and Social Services at the fund’s head office on Tuesday. Haingura and Rosalia Martin-Hausiku, acting CEO of the MVA Fund, poses for the Economist cameras in front of the MVA Fund Call Centre. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)The MVA Fund this week launched its annual Xupifa Eemwenyo “Save Lives” Road Safety Campaign for 2011/ 2012. The campaign which is in its 7th year, will mainly focus on emergency response. The event also saw the official inauguration of the MVA Fund Call Centre.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, deputy Minister of Health and Social Service, Petrina Haingura, said road trauma has reached a stage of considerable concern in the country as communities and families are torn apart by the unnecessary loss of lives, as well as pain and suffering brought about by road accidents.
She further said that global statistics has indicated that about 1.3 million people are killed each year  across the world and that another 20 to 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries from road collisions, however these injuries are an identifiable cause of disability worldwide.
“In Namibia, there are about 500 deaths annually, to demonstrate the gravity of this situation, road crashes have recently been ranked as the fifth biggest cause of death in our country. This effectively means that we are dealing with a pandemic on wheels, which if not contained, will pose serious developmental risks for our nation,” said Haingura.
Statistics from the MVA Fund Call Centre showed that 423 people have died on the road this year, while a further 2 495 sustained moderate to serious injuries.
Haingura added that these statistics were not only unacceptable, but intolerable as most of the accidents occur due to human error and are thus preventable.
She also urged people to review their personal contribution to the quest to make the country’s roads safer.
“While programmes such as the Xupifa Eemwenyo strive to educate the public on road safety and specifically urge road users to comply with traffic regulations, such programmes can only yield positive results if all of us change our behaviour and approach to using the road,” Haingura said.
The campaign will focus on three main objectives namely, support law enforcement, emergency response and awareness creation. The campaign will run from 28 November this year to 15 January 2012.

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