Special Envoy for Road Safety Visits Emergency’s Goderich Surgical Centre

On Wednesday, 19 June, EMERGENCY welcomed Mr Jean Todt, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, to our Goderich Surgical Centre in Sierra Leone. He was joined by the WHO’s Representative in Sierra Leone, Dr Innocent Nuwagira.

In Sierra Leone, injuries and deaths from road traffic accidents remain a major public health concern. At EMERGENCY’s Goderich Surgical Centre, which is Sierra Leone’s most prominent referral hospital for traumatology, road traffic victims make up more than 40% of all admissions.

According to the WHO, road traffic mortality rates are worsening in Africa. At 14 per 100,000 people, road traffic mortality in Sierra Leone is double the rate seen in Europe. Road traffic accidents remain the world’s leading cause of death for those aged 5-29.

“Africa is the continent most affected by road crashes,” commented Mr Todt ahead of the visit. “Knowing that these affect the youngest first, it is beyond the human tragedy, an economic devastation sacrificing or invalidating for life the active force of a country. While the vaccine to avoid this carnage on the road exists, I urgently call on everyone to use it.”

During the visit, Mr Todt and Dr Nuwagira met with doctors, nurses and other staff from EMERGENCY to learn about the NGO’s experience providing trauma medicine. Open since 2001, the Goderich Surgical Centre has treated over 450,000 outpatients and conducted more than 71,000 surgical interventions.

“Trauma caused by road traffic accidents affects every community around the world, making timely and affordable access to trauma medicine essential. In Sierra Leone, road incidents are a leading cause of death and disability,” says Giuseppe Meucci, Interim Medical Coordinator at EMERGENCY’s Goderich Surgical Centre. “For three decades, EMERGENCY has worked to provide free, high-quality trauma care around the world to people who would otherwise be left with little access to lifesaving treatment.”

“We appreciate Mr Todt and Dr Nuwagira’s visit to EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Sierra Leone,” says Daniele Giacomini, Area Director for Emergency and Development. “We value their sustained commitment to promoting road safety and spreading awareness of good practices that will reduce accidents and their severity, and save lives.”

EMERGENCY remains dedicated to providing Goderich, Sierra Leone, and the wider region with essential traumatology and hospital services, completely free of charge.


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