Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Tuesday urged all relevant institutions to strengthen measures in preventing disabilities resulting from traffic accidents.
Sar Kheng made the appeal as he wrapped up a conference on the Implementation of the National Strategic Plan on Disability 2014-2018 and the official launch of the government’s strategic plan on disability for 2019-2023 at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The conference was held to coincide with the 37th International Disability Day and the 21st National Disability Day.
“I would like to appeal to the relevant ministries, institutions and authorities at all levels to continue strengthening measures to more effectively prevent disabilities. We need to reduce vulnerability in society, prevent violence and traffic accidents,” he said.
Sar Kheng also hailed the government’s success in reducing deaths from traffic accidents. So far this year, he noted, the number of deaths has remained at between 1,600 and 1,700.
“In 2020, we must do whatever we can to prevent the number of deaths due to road accidents from reaching 3,000 a year.
“This year, deaths from traffic accidents have not reached 2,000. This is our success. But deaths among disabled persons remain high. The number of deaths [due to road accidents] is five persons per day on average.
“The number of people injured [in road accidents] may be higher. The injured are left with difficulty and obstacles in their lives. I give an example of only traffic accidents.”
Sar Kheng said Cambodia marked Disability Day to remember the great tragedy of wars, especially from the genocidal Pol Pot regime that has left tonnes of unexploded ordnances (UXOs) that have caused deaths and injuries.
“Cambodia has enjoyed full peace, so the government is committed to protecting peace at all cost because Cambodia has already experienced the tragedies of war,” he said.
Sar Kheng also appealed to the relevant institutions and authorities to continue paying more attention to the interests and livelihoods of disabled people.
Em Chan Makara, the secretary-general of the Disability Action Council, told The Post on Tuesday that disability could not be completely prevented as it is caused by accidents in many different forms.
“Some disabilities are not caused during pregnancy, but one or two years after a baby is born, they suffer from autism and so on,” he said.
According to the 2014 economic and social survey data, he said, there were 524,000 disabled people throughout Cambodia, equivalent to four per cent of the total population.
A report issued by the General Commissariat of National Police said there were 988 cases of traffic accidents in the third quarter of this year, killing 488 and injuring 1,494.