The Hanoitimes - According to estimates from the AIP Foundation, approximately 22,000 people lose their lives and 453,000 suffer injuries due to road crashes each year.
The Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam, together with AIP Foundation and Swedish companies, on Thursday distributed nearly 1,000 high-quality helmets to students at Ba Dinh Primary School in Hanoi, in a move to show their support for AIP Foundation’s “Helmets for Kids” program in the Southeast Asian country.
The event shows support for the commitment to increasing the use of proper helmets and preventing heavy brain injuries from happening among young children in Vietnam.
Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Högberg hands over helmets at Ba Dinh Primary School. Photo: Swedish embassy in Hanoi
The organizers called for stronger public awareness and urged adults to put helmets on children whenever they travel on motorcycles. Also at the event, there was a flash mob dance that encouraged students to always wear their helmets as well as games that tested their helmet safety knowledge.
AIP Foundation’s Helmet for Kids program provides thousands of high-quality helmets to students across Vietnam as well as road safety education to them and their teachers and parents every year.
Speaking at the ceremony, Swedish Ambassador Pereric Högberg noted that: “In Vietnam, I hear stories all the time that the Vietnamese are concerned about safety, especially traffic safety. It is not cool to be on a bike without a helmet and a good helmet is simply life-saving! Let us communicate this widely and set a good example for our family members and friends, and always wear a standard helmet when travelling on a two-wheel vehicle. I want to stress and ensure that riders of all ages are safe while enjoying their bikes.”
For his part, Greig Craft, president of AIP Foundation, said: “While there has been high compliance with mandatory helmet regulation among adults, helmet use among children remains low. However, through helmet intervention programs in Vietnam, child helmet use has risen from 40% in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to 85%-90%”.
Road safety is a major public health issue in Vietnam. According to estimates from the AIP Foundation, approximately 22,000 people lose their lives and 453,000 suffer injuries due to road crashes each year. Motorcyclists account for approximately 59% of the road traffic collisions in the country, among whom 78% suffer from head injuries.
Road crashes is the number one cause of death for young people aged 15 to 29 and the number two cause of death for children aged 5 to 14 in Vietnam. With over 80% of the population under the age of 50, the effects of road crash deaths on young people result in losses to both the family and the larger community.
Traffic fatalities and injuries also generate economic strain for society. AIP Foundation calculated that Vietnam lost $3.5 billion USD as a result of road crashes between 2007 and 2017.