Partners in Injury Prevention
Resource type: Grantee Story
Motorbikes are the transportation of choice in Viet Nam. They jam the streets of Ha Noi, Da Nang and other cities, and their noisy engines pierce the tranquility of the countryside. Families of four, including tiny infants, may squeeze onto one bike, and business people often balance huge loads of merchandise on them.
While motorbikes are affordable, they are also dangerous, especially if used without helmets designed to prevent head injuries in crashes.
“In 2006, 16,000 people died in Viet Nam and 37,000 suffered injuries in motorbike accidents, but many were preventable deaths, because wearing an approved helmet reduces the chances of dying by 37 per cent,” explains Dr. Le Nhan Phuong, Population Health Programme Director.
Thankfully, fewer Vietnamese are dying and being injured since the National Helmet Law took effect 15 December 2007, requiring all motorbike users to wear approved helmets. This accomplishment is the culmination of diligent work by the government, including the Ministry of Health, and organisations such as the Ha Noi School of Public Health, United Nations Children’s Fund, Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, Counterpart International and The Alliance for Safe Children, with support from Atlantic and other funders that began in 2000. We now will focus on other community-based injury prevention, especially for children. As of 1 July 2009, the law was amended to require children 6 and above to wear a helmet while on motorbikes as well.