The Health Ministry will soon come out with a National Injury Control Program to provide trauma healthcare and save lives of the lakhs of persons lost in accidents and to injury. This was announced by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, here. The Health Minister was inaugurating the third World Trauma Congress today, in the presence of Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State, Tourism and Culture. Addressing the Congress and highlighting the need for such a national program, Shri Nadda pointed out that road traffic injuries are among the three leading causes of death for people between 5 and 44 years of age.
Unless immediate and effective action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the 5th leading cause of death in the world, resulting in an estimated 24 lakh deaths each year, he stated. He noted that road injuries and deaths cause a colossal economic cost of up to 1.5% of the Gross National Product (GNP) in the low- and middle-income countries. The figure for India is close to 3% GDP. As per the latest statistic, in India 52 persons died every hour in various accidents in 2014, the major causes of accidental deaths in India are “Traffic accident, “Drowning”, “Poisoning” and “Accidental fire”. India has the highest Road crash mortality in the world. As per the statistics quoted in the report of the action for road safety, each year nearly 16 lakh people die globally as a result of a road traffic collision— more than 3000 deaths each day—and more than half of these people are not travelling in a car. About 2 to 5 crore more people sustain non-fatal injuries from a collision, and these injuries are an important cause of disability worldwide. Ninety percent of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which claim less than half the world’s registered vehicle fleet.
The Health Minister pointed out that some of the important reasons of increased mortality in developing countries like India that included: non-availability of trauma systems which include care from the injury site till rehabilitation; pre-hospital care is absent in many states, and in some states very primitive without the state of the art ambulances, trained manpower and proper organisation in a definite geographical area; in-hospital trauma care infrastructure presently cannot cater to the needs of ‘multiply injured patients’ due to lack of trained manpower and resources; Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Legislation is not uniformly adapted; only state of Gujarat has enacted it; lack of authentic data and trauma related research; and non-existent or few rehabilitation facilities. The Health Minister stated that it was a matter of pride that India is hosting the 3rd World Trauma Congress (WTC) this year, the first and second one’s being held at ‘Rio de Jenario’ and ‘Frankfurt’. Shri Nadda stated that he believed that coming in the middle of the UN Decade for action on Road Safety (2011-2020), the Congress will provide an opportunity for all to assess the lead taken so far and the road ahead. Shri Nadda also said that to meet the challenge of trauma care and to better meet the needs of trauma patients, we need to advance not only clinical practice and medical technology, but also the organization of our healthcare system and resources. He also urged for more convergence with Ministries such as Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and other related stakeholders. Shri C K Mishra, Secretary (HFW) stated that the 3rd World Congress was a call to action to all stakeholders to end all deaths due to trauma. Not only their effective treatment, but it is important to think about ways and means to rehabilitate the patients so that they continue to add to the productivity of their own communities and the nation as a whole. He noted that as policymakers it is time to think of building capacity of individuals also that that injury and trauma can be prevented through enhanced levels of awareness and better capacity to deal with them. The congress is being organized by the ‘J P N Apex Trauma Centre’, AIIMS New Delhi and co-hosted by the Indian Society for Trauma, Acute Care (ISTAC) and the World Coalition for Trauma Care (WCTC) with objectives to exchange ideas, experiences and lessons learned about the role of internationally accepted systems and protocols in the field of trauma care, mass causality incidents, and disasters. Also present at the Congress were Prof. M C Misra, Congress President, WTC 2016, Prof. Raul Coimbra, Founder President and Chief Executive-World Coalition for Trauma Care, Dr Ronald Stewart, Chairperson American College of Surgeon-Committee on Trauma, Dr Etienne Krug, Director, Deptt. for management of NCD, Disability, Violence and injury prevention, WHO Geneva.