Kumasi road traffic deaths 2.3 times higher than police figures, new report


The estimated number of road traffic deaths in Kumasi for 2021 and 2022 was 663, according to a new report by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and its development partner Bloomberg Philanthropies.

With an adjusted death rate of 9.3 per 100,000 population, this figure, the report indicated, is 2.3 times higher than the number reported by police during the same period, highlighting significant discrepancies in road traffic fatality data.

The report, titled “Retrospective Assessment of Road Traffic Deaths and Serious Injuries Using Hospital Records in Kumasi, 2021-2022,” was compiled using Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) records.

The report indicated that a total of 3,526 road crash casualties were captured at the hospital’s accident and emergency unit and mortuary records for the two-year period with 2,939 being admitted and discharged. 351 died on admission and an additional 236 died at the scene of the crash.

It revealed that police reported 294 deaths while hospital records captured 132 deaths in the city. Notably, only 59 hospital fatal cases were linked to police fatal crashes, yielding a 20% matching rate.

The document also provided a demographic breakdown, showing that males made up the highest proportion of all fatal (81%) and non-fatal injuries (80%) in hospital records, with 477 deaths. Female deaths recorded within the same period amounted to 110. Also, those aged 20 to 29 years accounted for 42% of deaths and 51% of injuries.

Even though no pattern was observed for deaths and injuries by day of the week in hospital records, many of the recorded deaths in the two years were from crashes which occurred on Mondays and Wednesdays. Additionally, serious injury cases frequently occurred from crashes which occurred on Saturdays and Sundays.

The finding in this study shows evidence of underreporting of road traffic deaths in the Ashanti Regional capital when relying on police records. The reason for this among others is the lack of consistent follow-up by the police to update their records for victims who may have died after a period of hospital admission.

Speaking at the event Dr Chris Oppong, an Emergency Physician Specialist at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), highlighted significant challenges and potential solutions in treating road traffic accident victims.

He underscored the hospital’s commitment to implementing the report’s findings that are relevant to their operations. However, he emphasized the need for enhanced capacity and resources to effectively manage the influx of road traffic accident victims.

“On our part, we will do our best to implement some of the findings that are relevant to us, and we have already started,” Dr. Oppong stated. “As we advocate for prevention, we also have to advocate for treatment as well. The truth of the matter is that our capacity is not adequate. A lot of these victims are coming with head injuries, and I can count on my fingertips the doctors who are specialists in that field—they are very few”.

For his part, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP)/Mr Kwaku Buah (Rtd) called for intensive education and enforcement of the country’s laws to prevent road crashes.

In his keynote address, read by Mr. Francis Dwira Darko, Metro Coordinating Director, the Mayor of Kumasi, Hon. Samuel Pyne reaffirmed the Assembly’s and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ commitment to tackling the challenge of road crashes in the Metropolis.

He emphasized that the launch of this report, coupled with the formation of the Metro Road Safety Committee and the development of a Road Safety Strategy, “demonstrates their preparedness to reduce road crashes drastically.”

Representatives from the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Ghana Police Service, National Ambulance Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Department of Transport KMA, and other stakeholders attended the launch.

They praised the report as a valuable tool that will assist in formulating effective strategies and interventions to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries.


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