Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Thursday urged federal and Kaduna State Government to establish emergency medical unit on Kaduna-Zaria expressway.
The Kaduna Branch Chairman of the association, Dr Stephen Kache, made the call at a news conference in Kaduna, stressing that the measure would reduce the number of deaths recorded on the road.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government in June 2018 launched the reconstruction of Abuja–Kaduna–Zaria–Kano road with a 36-month completion period.
However, the development led to the creation of five diversions, leading to gridlock, accidents and loss of lives on the road.
Dr Kache explained that due to the absence of an emergency medical unit on the road, people involved in accidents who ought to have been saved, lose their lives due to the lack of prompt medical assistance.
He said “it is important to note that many travellers on that road suffer untold hardships and exposed to numerous risk due to blockade and several diversions.
“This in turn results to loss of time, accidents and deaths.”
He added that the accident which occurred on June 10 on the road claimed many lives, including a professor of paediatrics with Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.
“This accident is one too many.
“We, therefore, wish to call on the federal and Kaduna State Governments, including government agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safety of lives on our roads to act and end the avoidable loss of lives.
“Government should deploy cranes and other equipment at strategic locations on the expressway to extract victims of accidents trapped in vehicles.
“We are equally calling on government to mobilise and prevail on the contractor handling the road construction to expedite work for early completion.”
The chairman noted that the association partnered with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and National Union of Road Transport Workers to educate drivers on the need to obey traffic laws for safe driving.
He added that NMA was planning to train some key stakeholders as first respondents to accident victims.
When contacted, the FRSC Commander, Kaduna State Sector Command, Hafiz Mohammed, said “FRSC has a small emergency medical unit with a standby ambulance around Birnin Yero to attend to accident victims.”
Mohammed also said that the command would soon organise mobile courts on the expressway to prosecute traffic offenders to ensure sanity on the highway.
He thanked the NMA for the efforts to train first respondents to accident victims, adding that the gesture should be extended to FRSC officials.
He urged drivers to exercise patience while driving, saying there were 35 personnel stationed on the diversions to ensure 24-hour free flow of traffic.
According to him, if every driver decides to move one at a time, there will be no hold up, no gridlock and no accident.