VietnamAdvisors calls for investors to help – The Helmet Crisis in Vietnam

February 3, 2016

A snapshot of the congestion of Vietnamese roads. Photo credit: Streets of Saigon

Annually, road crashes cause an estimated 22,000 deaths in Vietnam, more than tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS.  Approximately 2,000 children die due to road injury each year, making it the second leading cause of death among Vietnamese children ages 5–14.

Road injury costs Vietnam more than 3 billion USD annually, nearly 3% of its GDP.

Though the toll of road crashes outweighs other public health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, which took 14,000 Vietnamese lives in 2009, international development assistance for road injury prevention from 2011 to 2012 is estimated at only 2 million USD. By comparison, the Global Fund, which channels 20% of total aid for HIV/AIDS, provided a 2011-2012 grant of 49 million USD to the Ministry of Health to support HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

Motorcycles account for 95% of registered vehicles in Vietnam, and their users account for 75% of Vietnam’s road traffic fatalities.  Of these, nearly 78% are a result of head injury.  In 2006, motorcycle helmet use in Vietnam was less than 30% on average and 10% on city roads.  Helmet use tended to be higher on roads where use was compulsory. After the enactment of Resolution 32 in December 2007, helmet use immediately increased to 99%.

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