The College of Emergency Physicians wishes Selamat Hari Raya to all Muslims. As in any Malaysian festivals, we never failed to observe road traffic accidents during this season. Almost 7,000 people die on Malaysian roads each year.* Emergency Departments throughout the country function without fail 24 hours a day to cater for all these cases. Specialists and doctors had been working hard during each festival to manage all these cases. Some had injuries so bad that death was unavoidable. We would like to remind all drivers to observe safe driving habits while on the road. Ensure cars are in good condition. Do not drive if you are sleepy. Make sure everyone in the car wear seatbelts including those in the rear seats. Use baby car seats if there are babies or toddlers travelling. Travel safe. Malaysia has a rather high death rate whereby for every 100,000 population here, 24 dies from road traffic accidents.* For motorcyclists, remember that your risk is higher. Ride safely. Make sure you wear helmets and fasten the helmet straps well. 61% of road deaths are from motorcyclists.**Out of these, out of every 100 accidents, 21 shall die.**We do not want you to be part of these statistics.
We also observed unfortunate fire-cracker accidents amongst children in past festivals. Some even lost hands and limbs apart from having burn injuries. Do observe your children and prevent them from playing with fire-crackers. As much as it is disheartening for parents seeing their children with injuries from these, we too felt the pain as we could imagine how hard it would be for these children to grow up with lost limbs and such.
We observed too, a sharp rise of cases arriving at our emergency department after each Raya celebration which co-incides with numerous open houses. While enjoying the camaraderie between families and friends we advise for all to observe moderation in consuming food so as not to jeopardize health. Overeating could cause illness and this is more so among those who have chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension.
Have a wonderful celebration while observing healthy driving and eating habits this raya. Safer driving conditions and healthy eating practice shall bode well for an even more meaningful Raya celebration this season. Together, with your involvement, we can make this Raya a chance not to only cherish wonderful moments with the loved ones but also a time to remind each other these safe and healthy lifestyle so that all will return back home safe and sound.
Selamat Hari Raya
May All Of You Have a Blessed One.
From the Council of College of Emergency Physicians,
Academy of Medicine, Malaysia
* OECD/ITF (2014), “Malaysia”, in Road Safety Annual Report 2014, OECD Publishing, Paris.
** Data from Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS)