Bangalore's surveillance network to get new takers

Bangalore's surveillance network to get new takers

Citys inquiry death monitoring system to be replicated across India

Designed with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the network picks up nearly 4500 deaths and 100,000 cases of hospitalisation in Bangalore due to injury, which includes both suicides and road traffic injury.

Even though the surveillance does not distinguish between road accidents with other injuries like suicides, poisoning and falls, WHO officials said that a significant chunk comes from road injury.  A majority of those killed and injured were in the younger age group of 16-45 years and mostly male. Pedestrians, two-wheeler riders and pillion riders and cyclists were involved in greater numbers in road accident cases.

On April 27-28, the WHO has convened a meeting in Delhi where people from other states and central ministries will not only deliberate on the Bangalore experience on injury prevention but also pick up a few more cities to replicate this model.

“The strategy in Bangalore may not work for Delhi. For instance, Delhi has ample space for building for a cycling track whereas Bangalore roads hardly have any space. Strategies would be discussed to find out solution for individual cities,”  said J S Thakur, an official from WHO.

Effective intervention

Road accident being one of the major causes of death throughout the world, the WHO recommends implementing several highly cost-effective interventions, which would save hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollar every year. Prevention of drunken driving, mandatory seat belts, child lock in cars and strict adherence to speed limit sharply reduce road accident deaths.

The Bangalore network is a pilot project for a wider WHO-supported global programme to reduce the death and disability through road traffic injury prevention projects in ten focus countries that include India and China. Thakur said information from the surveillance network was being supplied to police and municipal authorities for improving traffic management. The WHO in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, BBMP, Bangalore Police, BMTC and many hospitals are taking going into the second phase of the research using the surveillance network as the base.

In the next step, research is being considered on trauma registries, risk factor studies and, crash and injury interventions that will lead to scientific programme on injury prevention and control.