Several programmes to prevent accident-related deaths, injuries

The Health Ministry conducted several programmes to prevent accident-related deaths and injuries during the sixth National Accident Prevention Awareness Week held from Monday (5) to Friday (9), Consultant Community Physician of the Non-Communicable Disease Unit of the Health Ministry Dr. Samitha Siritunga said.

“Though we couldn’t conduct all the programmes as planned due to the need to adhere to COVID-19 public health regulations, we called on media organisations to do more to build an awareness among the public in the long term,” he said.

Speaking at a media conference held yesterday at the Government Information Department, Dr. Siritunga said that around 12,000 persons die due to accidents and accident related injuries in Sri Lanka annually.

“About 1-1.3 million seek treatment at hospitals each year for accidents and related injuries with an average of 32 deaths reported daily,” he said, pointing out that over the past two decades, accidents have been the number one cause of admissions to Government hospitals.

Dr.Siritunga further said that the data available may not accurately reflect the exact number of those who seek treatment for accidents as some patients seek treatment at Out Patient Departments (OPD’s) of Government hospitals without notifying authorities of the cause of injuries, seek private medical treatment or resort to indigenous treatments and home remedies.

“We always talk about road traffic accidents which amount to seven to eight persons a day. But, the total number that dies due to accident, they could be domestic, drowning, electrocution, etc is about four times more,” he added.

The Non-Communicable Disease Unit has predicted that by 2025 this amount would increase to 1.5 million. He observed that between the years (2021 to 2025) there would be an annual increase of one million.

Consultant Community Physician at Youth,Elderly & Disability Unit, Ministry of Health Dr. Shiromi Maduwage and Consultant Pediatrician Dr Ruwanthi Perera also addressed the occasion.


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