Launch of the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative 18 November in Moscow
The Asia Injuy Prevention Foundation in partnership with the FIA Foundation and the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility launch the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety
Moscow, 18 November 2009 – The AIP Foundation announced the launch of the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative (GHVI) in partnership with the FIA Foundation and the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility. The helmet vaccine initiative will introduce helmet-wearing programs, piloted in Vietnam, to other developing nations experiencing similar crises due to rapid modernization and motorization. Key components of the initiative will include AIP Foundation programs, policy and government technical assistance, traffic safety education, road safety curriculum development, Helmets for Kids and Safe Routes to School; research and evaluation, and setting up non-profit helmet assembly plants that employ the physically disabled.
The initiative was launched yesterday in Moscow, preceding the First United Nations Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. The Government of the Russian Federation is hosting this Conference - requested by the UN General Assembly – that represents an historic opportunity to advance the cause of improving global road safety. The Conference has convened roughly 1000 participants including Ministers of Health, Transport, Education, Foreign Affairs; representatives of relevant United Nations agencies; leaders from nongovernmental and civil society organizations; representatives from private companies; and other international road safety experts. It is anticipated that Ministers will issue a call for a ‘Decade of Action on Road Safety’.
“Three thousand five hundred people are killed every day in road crashes around the world; generally the young. This is the equivalent of six fully loaded jumbo jets falling out of the sky every 24 hours, killing all aboard. Road traffic accidents are a public health issue that has reached global, epidemic proportions; fortunately, there are solutions to this crisis. Helmets are a ‘vaccine’ of sorts. This conference is a seminal opportunity for the international community to take action to halt the spread of this overlooked, hidden epidemic,” AIP Foundation President Greig Craft said.
In attendance of the launch was the official Vietnam government delegation to the Ministerial Conference, headed by Vice-Minister of Transport, Le Manh Hung, and Chief Secretariat of National Traffic Safety Committee Mr. Than Van Thanh. In recent years Vietnam has become recognized as a leader in improving its own road safety record, and a model for ‘best practices’ for others. Recent innovations in the past 2-years have resulted in a 14% reduction in fatalities, and 24% reduction in serious injury on its roads.
At the launch of Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative, the AIP Foundation was presented the Prince Michael of Kent Special International Award for Innovation for its unique motorbike helmet interventions in South East Asia. AIP Foundation was awarded the Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Award in 2006, and this second award reflects growing recognition of its commitment to and achievements in road safety.
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