ROAD ACCIDENT RESCUE CENTRES
About Roadside Accident Rescue Centers
Kenya is one of the developing countries with soaring road toll, with the recent report showing that at least 2,974 people died from road crash in 2016, which is a marginal drop compared to 3,057 in 2015.
These traffic crashes have enormous consequences to the country, with World Bank estimating the economic cost at about 330 billion Kenya shillings annually.
The Northern Corridor, which traverses across 11 counties, is a significant contributor to road crashes, especially at the accident blackspots.
To curb the road deaths, St John Ambulance has put up roadside rescue centers at 17 notorious accident blackspots along the deadly northern corridor.
The centers, equipped with first aid and rescue facilities, are located at Jomvu, Voi, Mtito Andei, Sultan Hamud, Kyumvi, Kangemi, Limuru, Lari, Kinungi, Salgaa, Sachangwan, Kaitui, Awasi, Amagoro, Busia, Webuye, and Nithi Bridge.
The initiative was rolled out after a finding by St John Ambulance revealed that 57 percent of road deaths are as a result of poor handling and incorrect first aid given by first responders. They are victims who could have survived if someone offered them recommended first aid treatment.
In 2016, more than 1,302 lives were saved by the over 300 first responders stationed at the roadside rescue centers.
This is a step in the right direction, but not the optimal, since the centers only covers 17 of the over 160 blackspots mapped across the country.
To reach more people, St John Kenya intends to upgrade the rescue centers into roadside trauma clinics, offering primary healthcare services to communities around, rather than just waiting for accidents to occur.
The charity also intends to solicit for more funds to expand the rescue services to cover other accident hotspots across the country.
The initiative was started in 2002, with nine centers, which has since been expanded to 17 centers.
To complement the initiative, St John Ambulance recently trained 651 public service vehicle (PSV) drivers in first aid and safe driving. In partnership with Automobile Association of Kenya and International Federation of Automobiles, the training will be expanded to train more drivers.
The PSV vehicles are always driven through most of the roads after almost every three minutes, therefore, training PSV drivers in first aid will ensure there is a trained first aider on the road every three minutes to help in case of an accident.