In Qatar, traffic is a bigger killer than cancer
Injuries from traffic accidents cause one out of every eight deaths (12.5%) in Qatar, and is the leading killer responsible for more deaths than cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
According to Dr. Rafael Consunji, Injury Prevention Director, Trauma Surgery Section of Hamad General Hospital (HGH), every year, about 80 pedestrians die in Qatar and more than 200 suffer from severe injuries.
About 92% of the victims were young expatriates, mostly workers from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Dr. Consunji was speaking during the launch of the Second UN Global Road Safety Week.
Pedestrians are Qatar’s most vulnerable road users, with 71% dying at the scene owing to the fact that they do not have any inherent or native protective barriers between them and other road users.
“The Trauma Surgery Section of HGH admits 1,700 patients every year; the proportion of pedestrians involved has risen from around 10% in 2007 to 12% in 2011 and these numbers are on the rise,” he says.
Other interesting highlights include:
- More pedestrians were injured on Thursdays and Fridays; the early evening hours between 3pm and 9pm and the early morning hours between 6am and 9am are thought to be the most dangerous.
- One in six victims was a child, younger than 14 years of age.
- One in nine victims will succumb to their injuries and those that survive will suffer from moderate to severe injuries requiring seven days in the hospital.
The Second UN Global Road Safety Week, being held 6-12 May 2013, will be marked in Qatar by a series of events and a campaign dedicated to pedestrian safety.
“The Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 has identified pedestrian safety as a priority health concern owing to the fact that a greater proportion of pedestrians are killed or injured on our roads than the global average. More must be done to protect pedestrians through the education of both pedestrians and drivers, the construction of more pedestrian-friendly roads and the enforcement of rules aimed at keeping pedestrians safe,” added Dr. Consunji.