Helmet Vaccine in Manila

The Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative (GHVI) has organised a demonstration event in Manila, Philippines, in partnership with the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), distributing 1000 helmets to school children who regularly ride with their parents on motorcycles.

Michelle Yeoh, Global Ambassador of the Make Roads Safe campaign, and a member
of the GHVI Leadership Council, led the ‘Helmets for Kids’ ceremony at the Ministry of Education, together with the Education Secretary of the Philippines, Dr Mona D. Valisno and the President of the AAP, Gus Lagman. Secretary Valisno welcomed the initiative and said that, while it is far preferable for children not to ride on motorbikes at all, helmets must always be worn if they do.

Michelle Yeoh, Make Roads Safe Global Ambassador, said: “Parents always want the best for their children, and if your child is a passenger on a motorbike the best you can do is make sure they always wears a helmet. So many deaths and head injuries can be prevented, here in the Philippines and across the world, if we can get across this simple message: helmets save lives”.

According to the 2009 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, motorbikes constitute almost half of the vehicles on the Philippines’ roads, but there is no national helmet use law, no helmet standards, and wearing rates remain as low as 34 percent. Intervention is essential to change the road safety behaviour – and the political and legislative road safety environment – of the Philippines. Helmets reduce the chance of death by 42 percent and serious injury by 79 percent.

Gus Lagman, President of the Automobile Association of the Philippines, said: “Every year 600,000 new motorbikes are added to the roads of the Philippines. All motorcycle users, adults and children, must use a helmet for their safety. The AAP is delighted to welcome Michelle Yeoh to Manila, and we’re proud to add our support for the helmet vaccine initiative, as part of AAP’s many road safety activities”.

“We are pleased to bring Helmets for Kids to the Philippines with the support of FIA Foundation, the Asian Development Bank and the Automobile Association Philippines,” said Greig Craft, CEO of the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative. “Helmets are a proven intervention; they save lives and prevent serious injury. Through GHVI we work to create a new generation of safe and smart road users.”

The Helmet Vaccine Initiative event followed meetings held by Michelle Yeoh and GHVI officials with senior officials at the Asia Development Bank. As part of an MOU signed between the ADB and the FIA Foundation, the ADB is planning to support helmet vaccine activities in the Asian countries most affected by motorcycle injuries.

Make Roads Safe Global Ambassador Michelle Yeoh signs the Protec helmets donated to elementary students from Pasig, Mandaluyong and Quezon City.

AAP vice president Johnny Angeles presents Michelle Yeoh a token of appreciation from the AAP. Prior to that, Dr. Jose Regin Regidor of the UP National Center for Transportation Studies presented Yeoh with a “sablay,” the iconic sash that symbolizes nationalism worn by UP students during graduation.

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