ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Road Traffic Accidents and Injuries in India

High Spending on Hospitalised Treatment

Road traffic fatalities constitute 16.6% of all deaths, making this the sixth leading cause of death in India, and a major contributor to socio-economic losses, the disability burden, and hospitalisation. An attempt to measure catastrophic levels of health expenditure on accidental injuries, road traffic accidents, and falls, finds that the burden of out-of-pocket expenditure is the highest for such injuries. The financial burden is particularly high for poorer households in rural areas, and those seeking treatment at private health facilities with no health insurance. Public health facilities for trauma care and health coverage for low-income groups could help these vulnerable households.

As many as 1.2 million people die across the world every year due to road traffic injuries, with major ramifications for health and development. Road traffic injury is the leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 29 years, costing India approximately 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) (WHO 2015b). About 90% of the worlds road traffic fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, though these countries have only half of the worlds total vehicles. Recognising its seriousness, the international community has directed substantial resources to this public health problem and declared 201120 the Decade of Action for Road Safety. Road traffic fatalities take an unacceptable toll, particularly on poor people in poor countries, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated (WHO 2011; WHO 2013).

In September 2015, the international community adopted the historic Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which also draw special attention to road traffic injuries and deaths. Target 3.6 of the SDGs directs that the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents be halved by 2020, while Goal 11 relates to providing access to sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, and expanding public transport (United Nations 2015). Along with road accidents, other accidental injuries and falls also contribute significantly to the burden of ailments in the world (WHO 2004; WHO 2009).

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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