From ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR, Kaduna
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Kaduna State Chapter said some of its members would be deployed to assist the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) during the yuletide season, just as the Corps has collaborated with an Indian based Eye Institute on free eye screening for drivers in Kaduna State.
The Chapter Chairman, Dr Aliyu Bappah, made this known in an interview with newsmen during the free eye screening exercise for commercial drivers in Kaduna.
According to him, the poor access to medical attention for road accident victims prompted the association to collaborate with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) especially between the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
He said the medical personnel would specifically be deployed to the Command’s Medical Clinic at Doka and Birnin Yero in Kaduna State to assist accident victims.
Bappah lamented the high rate of road accidents in the state, which he attributed to poor health condition of drivers, as well as non-compliance with traffic rules and regulations.
He said the association would also engage in screening exercise for hearing impaired, diabetic, as well as hypertensive patients for members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
He reiterated the commitment of the association towards addressing medical challenges, explaining that members would continue to support the state government’s health initiative programmes, stressing that the state government’s free surgical intervention to the public had assisted patients who needed surgery to afford medical attention.
Meanwhile, the Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Institute, in India operating in Thelish Eye Centre had embarked on the exercise for drivers at the Kawo Motor Park in Kaduna.
The State Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr Olu Olagunju said the incessant road accident witnessed in the state informed the need for the command to collaborate with other stakeholders to conduct free eye test for the drivers.
He said the exercise was to ensure that commercial drivers, especially those that embark on long journey were fit to drive, so as to reduce the rate of accidents witnessed on the roads. “Commercial vehicle drivers must of necessity obtain medical certificates of fitness before commercial driver license is issued” he stressed.
Olagunju, while flagging-off the end of 2012 year safety campaign and rallies during the exercise, attributed the high rate of road accidents to non-compliance with the relevant traffic rules and regulations.
He said the heavy human and vehicular movement across the country, especially at the end of the year resulted in high traffic congestion, road rage, impatience, excessive speeding, dangerous overtaking and overloading which often result in road crashes.
“This brings to surface the urgent need for collaborative efforts to eschew attitude capable of making us vulnerable to road crashes and attendant consequences during ember months” he stressed.
He advised drivers to ensure that their vehicles were in functional mechanical state, desist from overloading and speeding as well as comply with the proper channels of obtaining driving license to avoid road accident.
Speaking on behalf of the partners, the Director, Agarwal’s Hospital, Barrister Amaka Etuke said the efforts were to support the Kaduna State Government and the nation at large in their efforts to reduce road accidents.
He attributed most road accidents to the poor vision of drivers and irregular eye check-up.
On his own part, the state Chairman, Nigerian Medical Council, Dr Aliyu Bappah, stressed the importance of regular eye check-up to ensure good visuals and reduce the rate of eye diseases. He urged the public to engage in regular exercise, as some eye defects were not necessarily detected early, until it had compounded to affect good and sharp visuals.
He reiterated the commitment of the state council of NMA towards assisting in resolving medical challenges across the state.
From ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR, Kaduna