According to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority in Qatar, 196,185 traffic violations were recorded in December 2021.
Qatar National Child Passenger Safety Program, ‘Ghalai’, has launched a second checking station for the safe limitation on mobility for children in vehicles.
The new free service station, which is located in close proximity to Sidra Medicine, was opened by Dr Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health, including the participation of senior representatives from key program stakeholders, Sidra Medicine reported.
The Ghalai program has demonstrated an effective and robust system through which safety measures, that can be easily acquired by parents and caregivers, are designed to minimise dire health-threatening situations and death among children during car crashes.
Ghalai, which literally translates to ‘my precious’ in the Qatari dialect, “is an appropriate name for the Qatar National Child Passenger Safety Program as it highlights the commitment of our government towards promoting the safety of those who are among the most precious to us, our children,” said Dr Mohammed Al-Thani.
The increasing success of this project, he said, is due to the “strong collaboration between government and private organisations. By working hand-in-hand to develop a strong foundation for educating new parents, together we can help change mindsets about road safety that enable us to better protect our precious children.”
The Ghalai national program is a cooperative mission between the private and public sectors, including Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Ministry of Interior, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medicine, Qatar University, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and ConocoPhillips.
The MOPH assigned HMC’s Hamad International Training Center (HITC) to manage the development of an educational and awareness project on child passenger safety, which prompted the launch of Ghalai in March 2019.
The first Ghalai station has been opened and operating at the Women Wellness and Research Center.
According to the World Health Organisation’s “world report on child injury prevention,” children in vehicles make up 50 percent of all child road-traffic deaths in high-income countries. As per the report unrestrained children have a higher chance of getting killed in car collisions than those using appropriate child restraint measures.
The report points out a series of proven functional approaches to lowering road traffic injuries, including encouraging the use of protective equipment in vehicles such as “child passenger restraint systems, booster seats and seat-belts, and a rear seating position for children,” the report added.
The Ghalai stations are put in place to “offer practical advice to parents and carers to know how to install a car seat correctly so it can provide the intended protection. Just like learning how to drive a car properly, people need to be trained in how to install a child car seat properly and this is what our highly trained Ghalai technicians can provide,” Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen, Director of HITC, and Chairman of the Ghalai Program explained.
The built-in air-conditioned station is built to accommodate two families with their respective cars at a time to benefit from the teachings of Ghalai’s certified technicians about the proper methods behind installing their children’s car seat.
Interested families looking to learn from this service can either visit the station during opening hours from 10 AM to 3 PM between Sunday to Thursday or book an appointment by emailing the Ghalai team at ‘[email protected]‘.