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World Trauma Day Webinar: Saving Lives from Road Traffic Accidents is a Healthcare Priority

28 Oct 2020

On 17 October 2020 (Saturday), the International Medical University Malaysia (IMU) hosted an event entitled ‘Saving Lives from Road Traffic Accidents is a Healthcare Priority’ in commemoration with World Trauma Day. As host of the event, Prof Khoo Suan Phaik, Dean of IMU Community Engagement introduced the event as part of the nationwide road safety campaign – “Safe Drive, Saves Lives”, which is a collaboration between IMU with the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), InciSioN Malaysia and DriveMark. The campaign aims to promote road safety and incentivise good driving behaviours through a series of education and awareness campaigns in the hopes to achieve Target 3.6 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) which is to halve the number of global injuries and death caused by road traffic accidents. The event which was conducted virtually, was mainly attended by staff and students of IMU although it was also opened to the general public. Vice- Chancellor of IMU, Prof Abdul Aziz Baba gave a welcoming address highlighting the importance of such collaboration from both the road safety and healthcare point of view.

Facts about Road Traffic Accidents 
Road traffic accidents are the 4th cause of death among Malaysians.
Road traffic accidents have the third highest number of fatalities for every 100, 000 people living in the country in Southeast Asia.

In addition, he further correlated the numbers to the impact of road traffic accidents on our healthcare system and the economy of our country through the loss of productivity as well as human resources, thus the need of education and awareness on road traffic safety. The event also saw a keynote speech given by Datuk Dr Hj Rohaizat bin Hj Yon, Deputy Director of Health through a pre-recorded yet impactful speech. Datuk Rohaizat highlighted the importance of shared responsibility among road users in ensuring safety on the road to avoid road accidents that not only cause injuries, but fatalities as well. Reducing road accidents is important to reduce the burden to our healthcare system, especially in the trying times we are facing to battle Covid-19. We were reminded that the spirit of #KitaJagaKita should continue to be nurtured, both on the road, as well as for us to adopt and adapt to the new normal in our everyday lives, in our effort to flatten the curve during this pandemic. The event continued with a webinar moderated by Prof Lim Kean Ghee, the Head of Department of Surgery, IMU.

First Speaker: Dr Ahmad Tajuddin, Emergency Physician Consultant 
The first speaker introduced was Dr Ahmad Tajuddin, an emergency physician consultant and the Head of Emergency Department at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang. With his expertise in emergency responses and position as Chief of Staff for Training in St John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM), he shared his work on building community resilience in terms of the providing first aid services as well as its availability in Malaysia. He highlighted the need to focus on human and social capital development, especially among the youth and other initiatives taken by SJAM to increase awareness of first aid response among the Malaysian public. Lastly, he introduced the use of the post-crash response manual, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support those affected in road traffic accidents.
Second Speaker: Dr Ashok Kannan, Trauma and General Surgeon
The second speaker is Dr Ashok Kannan, an IMU alumnus who is currently working as a Trauma and General Surgeon at Hospital Sungai Buloh and an Executive Council Member for the Trauma Surgeon Society of Malaysia (TSSM) as well as a member of the International Association for Trauma and Intensive Care (IATSIC). In his presentation, he shared his perspective as a trauma surgeon on a day-to-day basis, including some interesting cases he has dealt with. He also shared the framework of the organization in a trauma team and the importance of communication in the management of trauma cases, particularly road traffic accidents.
Third Sepaker: Datuk Dr Mohamed Alwi, Head of Emergency and Trauma Department 
Last but not least, Datuk Dr Mohamed Alwi shared his experience as the Head of Emergency and Trauma Department in Selayang Hospital, the main referral for trauma cases in Malaysia. He delivered an insightful overview of trauma emergencies management in Malaysia, especially on the initial assessment, as well as the primary and secondary survey of the victims. He also shared his experiences on mass casualty as well as his humanitarian background and overseas experience on disaster management. He highlighted the need to focus on capacity building and trainings to be enhanced to improve the preparedness of the healthcare system in managing trauma victims.

The webinar came to an end with an open and engaging discussion among the speakers and participants on various issues on road traffic accidents in Malaysia. There were several questions involving the safety of ambulance and their drivers, as well as the role of early education on first aid responses in schools. There were also interest by some participants to explore the availability of platforms to be involved in the healthcare system to tackle the increasing incidence of road traffic accidents. The webinar was recorded and posted on the IMU Community Engagement (IMU Cares) Facebook page for the general public to view:

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