The lack of trauma centres along Nepal’s highways has worsened the fatality rate
Text by: Sunir Pandey
In the last 12 months, Dhulikhel Hospital treated an average of 12 Road Traffic Accident (RTA) cases every 10 days. Its proximity to three major highways has made it the default post-crash care centre for accidents in districts like Sindhupalchok, Ramechhap and Dolakha, and even Sindhuli.
Source:Traffic directorate/ Nepal Police. Map: Kiran Maharjan
Depending on where an accident takes place and how critical the case is, victims are rushed off to the nearest private hospital. If this option is not available, they go to zonal or district hospitals.
With more highways and vehicles, and emergency services not keeping pace, the rate of fatalities from highways is rising sharply. More than 11,000 people have died in highway accidents in the past eight years, and over 30,000 have been seriously injured in the same period. Negligence, carelessness, poor road conditions, lack of vehicle maintenance, and government neglect in ensuring highway safety are to blame.
Number of fatalities due to road accidents between 2007-2013
Number of serious injuries due to road accidents between 2007-2013
Number of minor injuries due to road accidents between 2007-2013
Animated maps: Ayesha Shakya
Highways of death, Sunir Pandey
Road kill, Duncan Maru
Nepal’s highways of death, Sunir Pandey
Getting over the influence, Hariz Baharudin and Sunir Pandey