Asia Injury Prevention Foundation
|Asia Injury Prevention Foundation|
|Headquarters:||Hanoi, Vietnam, with branch offices in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Phnom Penh; and representatives in China, Tanzania, and Uganda|
|Method:||Media attention, direct-appeal campaigns, helmet donations|
|Area served:||Southeast Asia|
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (February 2015)|
Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (commonly known as 'AIP Foundation') is a non-profit enterprise with the mission to provide life-saving traffic safety knowledge and skills to the developing world with the goal of preventing road traffic fatalities and injuries. Across the globe in developing countries, traffic safety is becoming an increasingly important issue as commerce is increasing at a rapid rate, while travel infrastructure has not been given the time, nor the opportunity to catch up. Every year, more than 1.24 million people die as a result of road crashes, and another 20-50 million sustain non-fatal injuries; the majority of these occur in low- and middle-income countries
Many of those dying are children; road injury is the number one cause of death for young people aged 15 to 29 and the number two cause of death for children aged 5 to 14. Between 1999 and 2002 motorcycles on the road rose 100% and road deaths increased over 90%. Across Vietnam’s major cities, only 38% of children wear helmets, leaving them immensely vulnerable in the event of a crash. According to the WHO’s 2013 Global Status Report on Road Safety, Vietnam loses an estimated 22,000 people every year on its roads (12,000 deaths officially reported) and an additional 433,000 suffer injuries as a result of road traffic crashes.
AIP Foundation works in partnership with local governments and communities around the world to address road safety through five interconnected gears: Targeted school-level road safety education programs; Helmet production and the direct provision of helmets; Public awareness and behavior change campaigns; Global and legislative advocacy, engaging support for change of enforced traffic standards and laws; and Research, monitoring and evaluation to conduct evidence-based, data-driven programs.
To combat the low helmet-wearing situation, AIP Foundation began Helmets for Kids (HFK), a program which provides school children and teachers with quality helmets and road safety education through funding support from numerous private sector partners.
Owned by AIP Foundation, the Protec Tropical Helmet Factory developed the world’s first “tropical” motorcycle helmet – a low-cost, lightweight design that fits the needs of warm climates across the developing world. As a non-profit tropical helmet manufacturer, Protec's mission is to produce high quality, yet affordable helmets that address the needs of Vietnamese and other South Asian consumers.
Common complaints among the Vietnamese towards the full-faced helmets on the market is that they are too hot and heavy and thus locally dubbed "rice cookers." As a result, these helmets are rarely worn because the heat, as well as the limited viewing capacity, makes them unfeasible. Protec tropical helmets are lightweight, have multiple air vents, and do not cover the ears or side of the face. In Vietnam, this is extremely important. City roads in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City are saturated and a motorcyclist will often be surrounded by three or four other motorists, all of whom could be hidden if the driver were wearing a full-faced helmet. Protec is a non-profit social enterprise that reinvests 100 percent of profits to fund further traffic safety education and public awareness programs and maintains a workforce of 30 percent employees with physical disabilities.
Helmets for Kids
The program is designed to not only distribute safety helmets, but also to expose children to the importance of traffic safety at an early age.
Major components of the Helmets for Kids program include: Donating high quality helmets to students and teachers; Training teachers and students on how to wear a helmet correctly and general road safety; Engaging schools and the community and increasing public awareness of child helmet use in project sites through a kick-off helmet donation ceremonies; Integrating parents through workshops and letters of commitment; Sustaining students’ enthusiasm and helmet use with extracurricular activities; and Conducting pre- and post-behavior observations and knowledge assessments.
Controversies with Tropical Helmets
A controversy has been the introduction of tropical helmets, which do not protect the jaw bone but only the skull. These helmets are internationally recognized by the WHO as an alternative to full-face helmets which are very costly and extremely uncomfortable in hot climates. Before the helmet law came into effect on December 15, 2007, a few development experts were quoted as saying that the planned date for the law was too early. Much of this concern may have been due to fears that, like the helmet laws already in existence in Vietnam (passed in 2000 and 2001), this one would be ignored and the political capital spent to pass it would have been wasted. However, this was not the case. Helmet wearing rates in the country reached 99% on the day of enforcement and have continued to remain high among motorcycle riders - hovering between 80 and 90%.
Public Awareness Campaigns
The Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation launched its first public awareness campaign in 2007 in partnership with the Vietnam Helmet Wearing Coalition (VHWC), a group of private corporations, NGOs, multilateral, and government partners dedicated to raising awareness of traffic safety within Vietnam.
Between 2007 and 2009, AIP Foundation designed and implemented two national campaigns targeting adult and child helmet usage, contributing to the passage of mandatory helmet laws for adults and children over six years old. Outcomes included: Decree 32, mandatory helmet law for adults (2007), Decree 34, mandatory helmet law for children (2010). On 15 December 2007, Viet Nam’s first comprehensive mandatory helmet law came into effect. By December 2008, one year after the legislation took effect, national police data reported 1557 lives saved and 2495 serious injuries prevented compared to the same time in 2007.
Between 2011 and 2013, a national public awareness campaign entitled “Children also need a helmet” was implemented with the goal of improving the rate of helmet use among children, correcting parents’ misconceptions about helmet use among children, and increasing awareness about road safety. The campaign was organized by the National Traffic Safety Committee and Ministry of Education and Training in collaboration with the AIP Foundation. Campaign activities included airing a TV commercial "When I grow up" and documentary “In Retrospect" on national and local media outlets, installing billboards, and conducting family days. Students were also reached through information sessions, audio broadcasting, an online photo contest and pledge campaign, as well as the distribution of hand fans, helmet voucher coupons, and educational booklets.
- "About Us". Asia Injury Prevention Foundation. Retrieved October 2014.
- "The Campaign for Global Road Safety". Make Roads Safe. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "WHO Road traffic injuries fact sheet".
- "Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013: Supporting a Decade of Action." (PDF). World Health Organization.
- "What We Do". Asia Injury Prevention Foundation.
- "Helmets for Kids". Asia Injury Prevention Foundation.
- "Helmet Production". Asia Injury Prevention Foundation.
- "Case Studies Helmet wearing legislation (Vietnam)". Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
- Helmets: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners. (PDF). Geneva: World Health Organization. 2006. p. 13.
- http://english.vietnamnet.vn/social/2007/07/712885/[dead link]
- "The formulation and implementation of a national helmet law: a case study from Viet Nam" (PDF). World Health Organization.
- "When I Grow Up". Youtube.
- "In Retrospect". Youtube.
- "Public Awareness Billboards" (PDF). Child Helmet.