Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Motor-cycle accidents: How many handicaps should we make before we take action?

From ThisDay, Dar es Salaam
By Ibrahim Werrema

OUR nation has lately witnessed a surge in the number of motorcycles used as a cheaper and faster means of human transportation in heavy traffic cities like Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and others. The motorcycles are everywhere - in the central business districts and outskirts of these cities. We truly are reducing the double problem of transport and traffic jams marring the prevailing situation. But, unfortunately we’re also creating a more fatal problem in the process.

I am one person who values life and quality of life. A friend of mine who knows my deep love and respect for human life called me last week and told me to watch a local TV programme showing the increased number of emergency cases at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI).

According to the programme, there are five new motorcycle related causalities every single day at MOI, ranging from minor to highly intensive cases. Some of these cases end up in amputation, after which people are left with no legs or hands and sometimes both hands and legs. Regrettably, we’ve also lost a number of lives through motorcycle accidents. By that figure clearly registered in my mind that there are normally 35 causalities every week, which will at the end of this year bring us to the neighbourhood of 1,820 cases of people turning from physical fitness to handicap. That’s too much a price to pay for an escapable cause as large chunk of the labour force is turned into handicaps and we end up having more street beggars whom we don’t care about.

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