Lusaka, Sunday, 9th October 2016. The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is calling upon the Zambian government to investigate reports that road death official figures could be lower by 194 percent.

In Zambia, last year, over 2100 people were recorded killed in road traffic according to the Zambia Traffic Police data, but if we agree with the World Health Organization (WHO), the true figure could be more than 6000.

In order to track road death numbers over time and to compare numbers from country to country, the WHO publishes data for all countries in the biennial Global Status Reports on Road Safety. The WHO compiles the data through surveys involving numerous stakeholders in each country worldwide using sophisticated statistical models, developed from other areas of public health where data is simply unavailable, to estimate what it believes to be an accurate number of deaths.

Zambia and almost all other sub-Saharan African countries fall into the WHO’s category of ‘Countries without eligible death registration data’. South Africa is the only country classified by the WHO as having good death registration data. WHO recognises limitations in the official data that Zambia publishes on numbers of road deaths and injuries. The ZRST has found out that the difference between the WHO’s estimate and the official road fatality figures is large. The ZRST has also observed that the WHO’s figures parallels the Central Statistics Office (CSO) 2010-2012 Census that puts road deaths by almost 11 percent of all the causes of deaths in Zambia.

Daniel Mwamba, Chairman Zambia Road Safety Trust says:
“To understand the enormous problem of road traffic deaths and injuries, we need accurate data, therefore I call upon the government to urgently investigate these reports or devise a new system of having good death registration data”