Lack of reliable data to drive road safety programs is an impediment to achieving the 2020 global target and indeed can slow down progress towards SDG targets 3.6 and 11.2. This is especially the case of most low and medium income countries including the African region.
In a recent assessment carried out by Members of the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety in the African region, 70.6% of the countries assessed had no available data on National fatality/injury of school children due to traffic crashes around schools. Even where data was available (5.9%) it was inaccurate and unconsolidated. Only a meagre 23.5% reported availability of this data. These findings serve to reinforce the findings reported in the Global status report 2017 – regional office for Africa. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the evidentiary cause for advocacy for safer school zones in Africa to raise school zones to a minimum 3 star ratings in line with the iRAP/WHO recommended strategy.
The problem is big and the situation in Africa and indeed other LMICs is dire. There is need to put pressure of governments to own up the road safety agenda –incorporate and prioritize it in the national development and financial plan. The Global Alliance of NGOs for road safety has pioneered a ground breaking initiative to empower its members in Africa to collect and consolidate data which will make the safe school agenda more personal, real, and in need of urgent attention in Africa.
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