Red Cross, Prudential pass out 4,000 boda boda first aiders
- Written by John Musinguzi
Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) and insurance company Prudential on March 10, 2023 passed out over 4,000 boda boda riders after six-month ‘Safe Steps’ training in traffic safety and first aid.
The trained riders hail from Greater Kampala metropolitan area. Several riders and officials and staff of URCS and Prudential braved rain at a half-day function held at the Uganda Museum gardens in Kamwokya, Kampala. The riders, who included girls and women, were each given a certificate, helmet, reflector and an ‘I commit’ sticker in either Luganda or English. Their leaders at divisional level were also given first aid boxes, and kits to distribute to their parishes.
Some riders demonstrated their acquired skills by simulating a road crash and post-crash management that included first aid, traffic management, summoning an ambulance and evacuation of victims of different levels of damage to hospitals.
The guest of honour, minister of Works and Transport Gen Katumba Wamala, had earlier flagged off the training on September 3, 2022. He urged the graduates to go out and influence the rest of the estimated 100,000 boda boda riders in the metropolitan area of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso. He also asked them to form more organized groups so that his ministry can help them further, and to adopt a culture of saving.
URCS secretary general Robert Kwesiga said they have already started getting positive reports that when road crashes take place, some boda boda riders stop and perform first aid and evacuate victims to health facilities, something that was not common previously.
Tetteh Ayitevie, the CEO of Prudential Uganda, said they invested Shs 300 million in this the first phase of their Safe Steps First Aid and Road Safety campaign that is implemented by Uganda Red Cross Society. He pledged to fund more phases outside Kampala, as he called for more partners to join in this mission of reducing road crashes and saving lives.
“This amount of money was not for business; it is investment in the community we are operating in so that people there can enjoy healthier and longer lives. And we will surely do this again and again,” he said.
Ayitevie thanked the ministry of Works and Transport and the police directorate of Traffic and Road Safety for their educative contribution in the training.
NAMPIIMA READS TRAFFIC LAW
Meanwhile, ASP Faridah Nampiima, the spokesperson of the Traffic and Road Safety directorate of Uganda Police Force, explained some few aspects of the traffic laws concerning motorcycle riders in Uganda. She said reflectors are a must because they enable other road users to notice motorcyclists at a distance.
Secondly, to be on a public road, a rider must first undergo training, learn the highway code and be licensed, and must always put on the headlights. Every motorcycle should have valid third-party insurance. A cyclist is forbidden to carry two passengers, but if the passenger is below 12 years of age, he/she must have a caretaker.
“This insurance of only Shs 40,000 helps you meet the costs of treating your passenger and the crash victim of your motorcycle.”
Nampiima explained the benefits of fastening the helmet, and using the correct size and recommended type of helmets.
“Always fasten the helmet so that it doesn’t jump off your head. The helmet should have a visor, and you should regularly clean it so that your sight is good and you can see far away. A helmet acts as a shock absorber in a road crash; so, buy helmets that have inner padding (sponge). And put it on all times not for fear of police arrest, but because in a road crash, your head is like an egg or a tomato.”
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