CBM Kenya launches ‘Linda Maisha’ Road Safety Campaign
Score of lives are being lost in Kenya as a result of the increasing number of road accidents in the country.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2015) Report, road accidents are the single largest cause of disabilities. As a result, an estimated 3,000 lives are lost annually; with one person acquiring a permanent disability, every hour. This is the shocking reality that has engulfed the country.
In a bid to raise awareness on road safety, CBM Kenya has launched a road safety campaign dubbed Linda Maisha- Zuia Ulemavu (Protect lives- Prevent disabilities) at a colourful event in Nairobi.
The CBM Kenya campaign has been made possible through a strong partnership with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), AIC Cure International Hospital and the Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK). These three agencies will be the implementing partners of the slated campaign activities.
Speaking during the official launch of the campaign at the APDK grounds, CBM’s Chief Programme Officer, David Bainbridge, lauded the initiative as timely and necessary to adequately transform the lives of road accident survivors.
“No one should have to give up on life or be excluded for having an impairment -whether acquired or congenital, as we are all candidates of disabilities at some point in our lives,” he said.
He noted with concern that access to proper health services and proper assistive devices still remains as one of the multiple barriers reported by persons with disabilities, globally.
“A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that in many low-income and middle-income countries, only 5 to 15% of people who require assistive devices and technologies have access to them which is quite disheartening,” added David.
The spirit of the ‘Linda Maisha’ campaign
To amplify the cause behind the campaign, CBM Kenya’s Executive Director, Amos Mutiga, pointed out that the Linda Maisha campaign aims to provide a glimmer of hope to road accidents survivors - especially to those who have sustained serious injuries that have resulted in permanent physical disabilities.
“We hope to reach out to all road accident survivors by providing them with assistive devices, counseling services, ensuring the registration of the survivors with the NCPWD, and supporting ongoing Linda Maisha interventions through continuous fundraising from corporates and citizens of goodwill, among other measures,” he said.
Mr. Mutiga also revealed that the campaign aims to raise awareness on the need for inclusion of persons with disabilities in national development because most survivors are usually forgotten by society once they acquire a disability.
“I am confident that through this campaign, and other future initiatives, we will collectively improve awareness about disability amongst Kenyans and increase the participation of people with special abilities in national development,” he affirmed
Objectives of the Linda Maisha – Zuia Ulemavu campaign
The campaign seeks to highlight and mitigate the growing number of road accidents that are the leading cause of disability in Kenya.
The campaign activities will involve:
- Creating awareness about and highlight road accidents as a cause of disability with a view to change of behavior
- Highlight the plight of the often forgotten survivors of road accidents
- Register Persons with Disabilities with the NCPWD
- Providing assistive devices to survivors of road accidents with irreversible physical disabilities
- Availing surgical interventions and counseling services to survivors of road accidents
The potential impact
The chief guest at the launch, the Chairman of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, Dr. David Ole Sankok, encouraged accident survivors not to view their acquired disabilities as an impediment but instead focus on the positive. Dr. Sankok recounted that his disability was a turning point in his life.
“My disability became my turning point, motivating me to later study Medicine and become a doctor,” he said.
The partnership with CBM will assist the NCPWD actively increase registration of persons with disabilities in the country therefore, ensuring adequate assistance is provided to new members according to their immediate needs.
“This will ensure that persons with disabilities are able to acquire assistive devices enabling them revert back to their routine lives and help in growing of the economic as they will be employable,”
Dr. Sankok proceeded to present 20 assistive devices to pre-identified beneficiaries to mark the launch of the campaign, as well as a gesture of what to look forward to as the campaign gains momentum in the country.
The Linda Maisha campaign will continue to be an annual flagship campaign that will spread its activities to all counties, as well as develop long term partnerships to serve current and emerging needs from the campaign outcomes.