An emergency road accident response center was opened in Naivasha today to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for road users along the busy Nairobi – Nakuru highway. The tech-enabled center was built by Isuzu East Africa and will be equipped and operated by Nurse in Hand Emergency Response, a healthcare based social impact organization.
The center will host a team of emergency response paramedics, rescue equipment and a mini control room to provide co-ordination, communication and logistical support. This first response center of its kind in Kenya is aimed at saving lives by providing pre-hospital care to road crash victims and stabilizing them before onward transportation to hospitals.
Speaking during the official opening ceremony, Rita Kavashe the Managing Director of Isuzu East Africa said the motor vehicle assembler had invested Ksh 3million to construct the center under the supervision of the company’s technical staff. “This facility will help save lives that are needlessly lost due to lack of basic emergency response care when accidents happen. Victims are often rescued by other road users who do not have the training to stabilize the injured persons,” said Rita.
The Center, located next to the Delamere Shopping Center in Naivasha, is equipped with medical supplies, vehicle cutting equipment, emergency motorcycles for first responders and evacuation equipment. It will host first level of medics providing prompt emergency response to accident victims along the Naivasha – Nakuru highway 24 hours a day.
“Isuzu East Africa is a major stakeholder in the commercial and public service vehicle transport sector. We are therefore pleased to support this corporate social responsibility initiative that will save lives,” Rita explained. Isuzu East Africa is the leading provider in Kenya of the popular 33-seater PSV buses.
On her part, Lucy Njuguna, the CEO of Nurse in Hand Emergency Response regretted that most survivors of road accidents often suffer from broken limbs and tissue injuries which if not professionally handled lead to avoidable permanent disability or loss of life. “It is estimated that road accidents rob our economy of an estimated Ksh 300 billion every year from the cost of medical care for accident victims that continues to burden public health resources. That’s why we developed this solution to address the problem,” she explained.
Speaking at the launch event, Mr George Njao, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director-General, observed that the economic cost of road crashes presented a disproportionately high health burden on Kenyans. “We are optimistic that this initiative will strengthen post-crash care and management, which is a fundamental pillar of road safety in our country.” he said.
We look forward to working with various partners to support the Government’s initiatives that are geared towards improving road user behavior especially among the heavy commercial drivers who ply this corridor. World over, it is evident that Companies that engage in good road safety practices enabled by technology, have significantly reduced their operational costs by huge margins. As a sector, road safety must be viewed as an investment and the unnecessary loss of lives can be avoided. ” he added.
Nurse in Hand Emergency Response will provide wearable emergency crash alert devices to Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) and boda boda operators, that once pressed will send a message to the emergency response team.
These devices are connected to an advanced integrated web and mobile response platform that will coordinate emergency service provision with hospitals and the Police in Naivasha. In addition, a mobile phone app will be available for free download by passengers who will then be able to send accident alerts to the system.
Nurse in Hand is working in close partnership with the National Police Service, National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the Matatu Owners Association, Matatu Welfare Association and the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya – BSAK among other stakeholders in this initiative. The association members have been enlisted to carry the emergency alert devices and have been trained on the crash alert activation protocols.