Crash victims: How road accidents leave families' lives shattered - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Crash victims: How road accidents leave families' lives shattered


When her father passed away, Doreen Anyango could not believe that she was going to be fatherless at such a young age.

At three years, she had already known her father and their bond was one that was not easily broken.

Not until her father passed away after he was knocked down by a vehicle.

“He was rushed to the hospital but he died after a few days because he had head fractures. Plus you know that in those days there were no serious doctors,” she said.

Anyango who is now 33-years-old says that she has been struggling with the death of the father since then.

“Right now when I cross the road, I keep telling myself that I will not die the same way my father died. I will die because something killed me but not because of a road accident,” she said.

“It is your responsibility to ensure your safety. If you are in a matatu and the driver is drunk, you can stop it. Don't keep quiet,” 
Doreen Anyango says

The 33 year old urged Kenyans to be careful on the roads to ensure that they are not knocked down by passing cars.

“It is your responsibility to ensure your safety. If you are in a matatu that the driver is drunk, you can stop it. Don't keep quiet,” she added.

Anyango’s father is among an estimated 3,000 deaths from road crashes that occur annually in Kenya.

The National Transport and Safety Authority statistics indicate  3,337 fatalities in 2018-19, compared to 3,567 in 2019-20.

In 2018-19, 5,687 were seriously injured as compared to 7,158 in 2019-20, a difference of 1,471.

Those slightly injured in 2018-19 were 4,923 and a further 4,955 in 2019-20.

According to the World Health Organization, between 5,000 and 15,000 lives are lost on the roads every year.

A businesswoman, Judy Kamau is also wreathing in pain after her husband was knocked down by a motorcycle in an accident last week.

“My husband is still in ICU in Kenyatta National hospital after he was knocked down. I don’t even know what to do,” she said.

Kamau says that doctors told her that the husband has a blood clot on his head after he was knocked down that needs to be corrected.

“So he has been there for a week and we haven’t seen any improvements. Accidents kill and I am just glad that even though my husband is in that state, he can still breathe,” she said.

Kamau and Anyango are not the only ones suffering. 

As the world marked a day to remember victims of road crashes on November 16, a victim Belinda Adhiambo was avoided by her friend after she lost one of her legs during an accident.

The objectives of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2020 are to provide a platform for road traffic victims and their families to remember all people killed and seriously injured on the roads; acknowledge the crucial work of the emergency services.

“At the age of seven, I realized that I was different from my age mates. I inquired from my parents the reason as to why I had only one leg. My mum later told me that I was involved in a lorry accident,” she said during a virtual meeting.

“My education took an unexpected turn as I had to be carried by my parents to school in turns.  I later got devices to assist me in walking and I am currently adopting them.”

After completing her studies, it became difficult for her to get a job because of her disability.

“I was discriminated against by others just wanting sexual favours to give me a job,” she said adding that she now works with the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya.

More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. 

Pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of motorized two and three-wheelers and their passengers are collectively known as "vulnerable road users" and account for half of all road traffic deaths around the world. 

WHO notes that globally, road traffic injuries claim more than 1.2 million lives each year and have a huge impact on health and development. 

They are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15–29 years and cost governments approximately three per cent of gross domestic product, however, the cost for low- and middle-income countries is up to five per cent. 

WHO said half of the deaths in Africa occur among vulnerable road users, with 39 per cent among pedestrians.

Road traffic fatality data are greatly under-reported in Africa. Some estimates place totals at almost four times the official figures.

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