India and Australia are joining forces to tackle one of the world’s most significant health challenges – the increasing road toll that kills one person every two to four minutes in India.
In the presence of Australia’s Foreign Minister, The Hon. Julie Bishop MP, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have signed a five-year agreement with The National Trauma Research Institute (NTRI), a collaboration between Monash University and Alfred Health, the Victorian based health service renowned for its world leading trauma care.
The partnership will include exchanges between countries, institutional linkages, and jointly planned initiatives in policy development, research, training and design of services for handling critically-injured accident victims.
Monash University’s Professor Russell Gruen, a trauma surgeon, is Director of the National Trauma Research Institute.
“Australia, and particularly Victoria, has shown that a well-organised system of trauma care saves lives, helps patients recover and improves their quality of life,” Professor Gruen said.
“Injured people and their families, their communities, and national productivity all stand to benefit.”
According to official estimates, the 2012 Indian road toll was 138,258, more than in any other country.
This agreement follows one week after the NTRI and Monash University signed a $2.5 million (AUD) 4-year research agreement with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi to determine the best ways of improving trauma care in India. This research collaboration is supported by the Australian Department of Industry and the Indian Department of Science and Technology through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.
Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Professor Mahesh.C Misra, said the partnership would assist India to develop a world-class trauma system to address the increasing road toll in India that accounts for one death every two minutes.
It is predicted that road accidents will be the world’s third leading cause of death within 10 years. For every death many more are seriously or permanently disabled. In India and Australia, injury is the leading cause of death of children and young adults, and a leading cause of lost productivity.
“Road accidents form a major part of the country’s preventable deaths. We are trying to give very good trauma care facilities both on highways as well as inside the cities,” said the Indian Health Secretary, Mr Keshav Desiraju.