Officials from the Ministry of Health have urged the Ministry of Works and Transport to implement compulsory medical check ups for all drivers in order to improve road safety in Uganda.
The revelation was made by Maria Nkalubo, Principal Operations Officer at Ministry of Health who made the remarks during the National Road Safety Symposium organised by civil society group, Centre for Policy Analysis which was held at Next Media Park in Naguru.
Nkalubo argued that although the check ups should be made compulsory for all motorists above 40 years because this age is susceptible to non-communicable diseases and the policy can be first implemented on public passenger vehicle drivers and further expended to all motorists.
“We pushed and insisted for testing the eyes of the drivers for visual activity. For every driver on the road who is above 40years we asked Ministry of Works and Transport to ensure that there is annual testing of all those drivers within that category,” Nkalubo.
Robert Kisakye, Policy and Legal Analysts, at Ministry of Works and Transport welcomed the proposal from the Ministry of Health and urged drivers to take a personal initiative to conduct medical check up instead of waiting for Government to make such a requirement compulsory.
“That proposal is good and it shouldn’t stop at public transport drivers but apply to all drivers. But for the taxi and bus drivers, they have badges they carry and each time their badges expire, they have to be renewed. So we shall put a provisions that before the badges are renewed, a medical check up is conducted not just on the eyes,” said Kisakye.
He added, “We are calling upon all drivers to conduct medical check ups because if anything happens to you, its is your life that is in danger. For instance, if you have visual problems, it is your life that is in danger, so we shall implement it on all drivers, only that we shall start public transport drivers.”