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Parents welcome HMC's child safety seat initiative.

By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter Newborn babies being delivered at the Women's Hospital continue to be gifted a child safety seat each as part of the new National Road Safety (One Second) initiative launched in July to promote child safety in vehicles.

Under the initiative, launched by the Ministry of Interior in co-operation with the Supreme Council of Health and sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar, the Women's Hospital so far distributed more than 2,000 child safety seats since the first day of Ramadan. The plan is to distribute a total of 7,000 seats.

"One Second," the umbrella brand of all road safety campaigns in Qatar, has the main purpose of highlighting the importance of child safety seats in reducing injuries and fatalities in serious accidents.

Global studies show that child safety seats can reduce fatalities by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.

Women's Hospital, Qatar's busiest government facility of its kind, sees more than 17,000 childbirths annually.

During a visit to the WH's Patients and Visitor Service Centre yesterday, Gulf Times saw a number of new parents filling applications for the car seat.

All babies born at the WH since July 10 and having a valid Vaccination card are qualified to get a child safety seat.

One of the parents, Ahmed Sd from Egypt who was seen receiving a seat for his newborn daughter, lauded the initiative.

"We are very grateful to the Hamad Medical Corporation for this initiative and the entire Women's Hospital staffs for their care for my wife during and after giving birth to our daughter," the father of two said.

HMC Hospitality Department Patient and Visitor Service Centre manager-WH Mariam Mohamed al-Murbati said that more than 30 car seats are being given away daily.

"During Ramadan, the number of babies born was less but now we are receiving up to 32 parents daily to pick their child's safety seat. We even got families with triplets and twins," she recalled adding that the centre has been busy all days from 9am to noon and there were days the staff have stayed until 3.30pm attending to parents.

Al-Murbati explained that most of the parents have been expressing happiness on receiving the child safety seat.

"Once they filled up the form, we give them their baby's car seat and also the branded One Second envelope containing the installation manual and a new born congratulatory note in both Arabic and English, signed by the Minister of Public Health HE Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani," she noted.

A second initiative to soon be launched under the One Second campaign is a road safety schools programme targeted at 12-18-year-olds. Developed by Williams Advanced Engineering, the programme will see a state-of-the-art mobile driving simulator tour schools across Qatar teaching young people about safe driving and road practices. The goal of the programme is to see children become promoters and ambassadors of road safety at school and home, and are better equipped with safer driving attitudes ahead of when they become drivers.

Gulf Times Newspaper 2013

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Oct 31, 2013
Words:515
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