Qatar National Child Passenger Safety Program – Ghalai launched Doha’s second checking station for the safe restraint of children in road vehicles, located near the main hospital of Sidra Medicine.

The new station was opened by Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Director of the Public Health Department, Sheikh Dr Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The Ghalai programme presents a proven system of safety measures, that can be easily learnt by parents and caregivers, designed to reduce serious injury and death among children involved in car crashes.

Ghalai 2

Ghalai, which means ‘my precious’ in the Qatari dialect, is an appropriate name for the Qatar National Child Passenger Safety Program. It highlights the commitment of the government towards promoting the safety of those most precious to us, our children. According to Dr Al-Thani, the growing success of this programme is due to the strong collaboration between government and private organisations.

By working hand-in-hand to develop a strong foundation for educating new parents, together we can help change mindsets about road safety that enable us to better protect our precious children.

Reducing child injury

According to the World Health Organization’s World Report on Child Injury Prevention, children in vehicles account for up to 50% of all child road traffic deaths in high-income countries. Unrestrained children are more likely to be killed in collisions than those using appropriate child restraints. The report identifies a range of proven effective approaches to reducing road traffic accidents, including promoting the use of protective equipment in vehicles such as child passenger restraint systems, booster seats and seatbelts, and a rear seating position for children.

The Ghalai national programme is a venture between the private and public sector involving various companies and organisations such as MoPH, Ministry of Interior, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medicine, Qatar University, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and ConocoPhillips.

The programme supports the goals of the National Strategy for Traffic Safety, which is led by MOI’s National Committee for Traffic Safety. MoPH assigned HMC’s Hamad International Training Center (HITC) to oversee the development of an education and awareness programme on child passenger safety, which led to the launch of Ghalai in March 2019.

HITC Director and Chairman of the Ghalai Program Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen explained the significance of opening a second checking station in the country. He said that Ghalai stations are designed to offer practical advice to parents and carers to learn how to instal a car seat correctly. Just like learning how to drive a car properly, people need to be trained in how to instal a child car seat and this is what the highly trained Ghalai technicians can provide.

Purpose-built station

Located in the spacious car parking area of Sidra Medicine, the purpose-built air-conditioned station is designed to accommodate two families with their cars at a time.

The first Ghalai station has been operating at the Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) since March 2019. The pandemic delayed the opening of the second station, but the programme is now well on track. Families who would like to avail of their free service can either visit the station from 10 am to 3 pm (Sunday to Thursday) or book an appointment by emailing the Ghalai team at [email protected].

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