Background Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya is one of the few hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa that is dedicated solely to the provision of healthcare for children. In Kenya, where infant and child mortality rates had been decreasing road traffic accidents still constitute to childhood death and injury.
In recognition of the absence of suitable policies and legislation that guide scholar transport Gertrudes Hospital Foundation (GHF) in conjunction with the Global Road Safety Partnership developed an advocacy campaign. The goal of the project was to draw attention to the importance of road safety for children in motor vehicles designated for school transport amongst lawmakers in both the Senate and National Assembly, the National Transport and Safety Authority board members who represent the Kenya Ministry of Transport and senior officials from the Kenya Bureau of Standards and amend the laws.
Methods Our advocacy campaign aimed at bringing the extent of the problem closer and to urge policy makers to prioritise road safety for children. It involved the development of key advocacy resources to use in the campaign, engaging legislators and key policy makers, building effective partnerships and coalitions with existing road safety initiatives for sustainability purposes. The campaign was done through mass media as well as interpersonal channels of communication such as workshops.
Results The Kenyan Parliament has now debated on the new legislation and enacted laws that will ensure that all school transport vehicles are designed and equipped with safety belts, speed calming measures will be placed on major roads passing through school areas, adequate speed limits will be enforced around schools for vehicles and penalties such as fines and jail sentences applied for breaches of the law by motorists.
Conclusions Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation has demonstrated that both the public and private sectors can work together to develop policies and legislation that will save the lives of children on their way to school and back.
The key implementation bottlenecks facing the initiative included the long duration it took by the Kenyan parliament to pass the necessary legislation, inadequate knowledge of the impact on children and their families on the lack of policy
- Child Road Safety Policy