Kenyan Government, World Health Organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies launch new initiative to reduce road crash deaths

The Kenyan Ministry of Health, the National Transport and Safety Authority, the World Health Organization [WHO] and Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a new national initiative in Kenya today to reduce deaths and serious injuries from road traffic crashes by strengthening laws, policies and actions that are proven to save lives.

Kenya recorded 4,579 fatalities as a result of road traffic crashes in 2021, with tens of thousands more people seriously injured. By 22nd May 2022, 1,816 more fatalities were recorded, showing an increase of over 9% compared to a similar period in 2021, according to the latest data from Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority.

“No deaths on our roads are ever acceptable, and road traffic crashes are a pressing public health issue that we are working hard to urgently resolve. The work with WHO and partners through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety will be key to supporting our efforts to save lives and push forward progress.” said Mrs. Agnes Odhiambo, National Transport and Safety Authority Board Chair Person.

The launch of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety in Kenya, comes as the government finalizes a new National Road Safety Action Plan that aims to halve deaths from crashes by 2030. The government, WHO, Bloomberg Philanthropies and other partners are meeting to define how the initiative can best support the New Road Safety Plan.

“Road crash deaths are a crisis that hides in plain sight. Stepping up action on road safety is vital, as on top of the tragic human toll, road safety touches on all our lives each day, including getting to work and to school. By strengthening laws, practices and bringing partners together, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative is key to saving lives,” said Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, WHO Representative in Kenya.

Worldwide, road traffic crashes kill approximately 1.3 million people every year – more than two every minute – with more than nine in ten of all deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 globally. WHO estimates that crashes will cause another 13 million deaths and 500 million injuries around the world by 2030 if urgent action is not taken.

“Bloomberg Philanthropies is proud to partner with the Government of Kenya to strengthen road safety efforts that will save lives. We are committed to supporting proven road safety interventions that save lives,” said Kelly Larson, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative for Global Road Safety.

Since 2007, Bloomberg Philanthropies has saved lives and reduced injuries from road traffic crashes by supporting the implementation of road safety interventions in 45 cities and provinces, advocating for stronger national road safety policies in 21 countries, and improving vehicle safety standards in four regional markets. These efforts are estimated to have saved nearly 312,000 lives.

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