According to the WHO, transport-related injuries are a worldwide leading cause of death and disability for people younger than 40, and a leading cause of death for youth aged 15-19. It is expected that by 2020, transport-related injuries will become the third most prevalent global burden of disease and injury if no substantial preventive steps are taken. The majority of road traffic accidents (RTAs) occur in low to middle income countries, which have 53% of the world’s registered vehicles.
Road crash surveillance data is considered by the WHO to be a critical public health tool in low and middle income countries, where the burden of road crashes is growing. Surveillance data is used to assess the burden, target responses, and evaluate the effectiveness of road safety interventions.
Understanding the epidemiology of road traffic deaths and injuries in Palestine is essential for informing sustainable research and policy making. Although injuries are not yet well quantified in the West Bank, the human and financial losses associated with accidents are significant. Existing RTA information systems in Palestine have many discrepancies due to the different sources of information used.
Consequently, a multi-sectoral project is currently being directed by PNIPH to build a centralized, comprehensive, unified, and credible registry for road traffic casualties in the West Bank. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Palestinian Police, and in close cooperation with Palestine Red Crescent Society, Ministry of Transportation, Central Bureau of Statistics, Medical Relief Society, and EUPOL COPPS.
The RTA surveillance form was updated in cooperation with MoH to launch the RTA e-Registry in February 2017. Governmental and non-governmental hospitals were provided with PCs, and staff members were trained on using the e-Registry. The Palestinian Police cooperated with PNIPH to identify and support the registry with 60 indicators about safety and final outcomes of accidents.
As a result, PNIPH will start receiving data from the Police Traffic Department and the MoH through the RTA e-Registry to inform policy and support research, which will ultimately promote safety and prevent road traffic injuries in Palestine.