By Haruna Gimba
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Thursday urged the federal and Kaduna State Government to establish emergency medical unit on Kaduna-Zaria expressway.
Kaduna State chapter Chairman of the association, Dr Stephen Kache, who made the call during a news conference in Kaduna, stressed that the measure would reduce the number of deaths recorded on the road.
The federal government had in June 2018 launched the reconstruction of Abuja–Kaduna–Zaria–Kano road with a 36-month completion period.mHowever, the development led to the creation of five diversions, leading to gridlock, accidents and loss of lives on the road.
Dr Kache explained that due to the absence of emergency medical unit on the road, people involved in accidents that ought to have been saved, lose their lives due to the lack of prompt medical assistance.
According to him, many travellers on that road suffer untold hardships and exposed to numerous risk due to blockade and several diversions. “This in turn results to loss of time, accidents and deaths.”
He added that the accident which occurred on June 10 on the road claimed many lives, including a professor of paediatrics with Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria.
Kache said: “This accident is one too many and we therefore, wish tocall on the federal and Kaduna State Governments, including government agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safety of lives on our roads to act and end the avoidable loss of lives.
“Government should deploy cranes and other equipment at strategic locations on the expressway to extract victims of accidents trapped in vehicles. We are equally calling on government to mobilise and prevail on the contractor handling the road construction to expedite work for early completion.”
The NMA chairman noted that the association partnered with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to educate drivers on the need to obey traffic laws for safe driving. He added that NMA was planning to train some key stakeholders as first respondents to accident victims.
On its part, the FRSC Commander, Kaduna State Sector Command, Hafiz Mohammed, said they have a small emergency medical unit with a standby ambulance around Birnin Yero to attend to accident victims.
The commander also said that the command would soon organise mobile courts on the expressway to prosecute traffic offenders to ensure sanity on the highway.
He thanked the NMA for the efforts to train first respondents to accident victims, adding that the gesture should be extended to FRSC officials.
He urged drivers to exercise patience while driving, saying there were 35 personnel stationed on the diversions to ensure 24-hour free flow of traffic.