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244 Helmethon: success of helmet campaign in aiding the helmet law enforcement in a district of South India
  1. Pallavi Sarji Uthkarsh1,
  2. Ashok Jayaram1,
  3. G Gururaj2,
  4. MS Rajanna1,
  5. Uthkarsha Lokesh3
  1. 1Sree Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, India
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention, NIMHANS, India
  3. 3Department of Maxillofascial Surjery, Shyamala Reddy Dental College, India

Abstract

Background Road traffic injuries were the leading cause of injury with a mortality rate of 18.1/1,00,000/year and accounted for 38% of fatal injury deaths and 39% of nonfatal injuries during Jan 2011–Dec 2011 in Tumkur. Nearly 26% of fatal and 38% of non-fatal road traffic injuries were sustained in the age group of 15–29 years. Two wheeler riders accounted for 45% of fatal and 35.5% of nonfatal injuries. Head injury is the most common cause of death among two wheeler users. Helmet is the only vaccine to prevent head injuries. Though there was a law about compulsory wearing of helmet in the state, it was never enforced in the district and helmet usage rate in a district before campaign was varied from1% to 5%.

Methods ‘Helmethon’, was a campaign initiated and led by a Medical college with the support of other universities. Campaign targeted the public with special focus 1. To create awareness among public about helmet safety, with special focus on youth. 2. To promote helmet usage 3. To draw stakeholder’s attention towards importance of helmet safety and need for enforcement. This campaign was designed with the inputs from youth, so that more youth would be part of this.

Multi faceted Campaign was carried out for a period of three months. It had various components like, Helmet education,HELfie challenge in a social media, bike rally with a flash mob and wear helmet pledge at different campus and public places, an intercollegiate literary and cultural eventwith the theme ‘HeLMeT’ and a first ever marathon-HELMETHON, in a district for Helmet.

Results Campaign was successful in bringing the stakeholders together with good community participation and Helmet law was enforced in Tumkur district in less than a fortnight following the campaign. Now helmet usage rate among riders has increased to 80%.

Conclusions A well planned and committed helmet campaign shall influence stakeholders to enforce the helmet law and sensitises the community regarding helmet safety and encourages them to use it.

  • Helmet
  • Campaign
  • head injury
  • two wheeler user

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