Medical News and Perspectives
June 2, 2004

Global Road Safety Crisis Remedy Sought

JAMA. 2004;291(21):2531-2532. doi:10.1001/jama.291.21.2531

For many individuals living in rural Africa, there is no safe way to travel.

In Malawi, for example, a bus ticket, even for minibuses that cram 2 dozen riders and their baggage into a vehicle built to seat nine, is priced out of reach for many rural Malawians. So travelers turn to less expensive alternatives, such as walking or open-bed pickup trucks that operate like taxis.

"Passengers jump in the back of the pickup, give the driver some money, and jump out when they get where they want to go," says Thomas J. Vitaglione, MPH, a senior fellow at the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute, who spent time in Malawi last year to assist with an orphan care project that he helped to establish in 1995.

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