Exploring awareness of children on street regrading road traffic injuries in Karachi, Pakistan : a qualitative study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Policy & Management (MSc Health Policy & Mgmt)


Community Health Sciences


Street children are the marginalized population in society. There are 150 million street children exist globally and 1.5 million in Pakistan (8). UNICEFF has categorized them into two groups; children off the streets and children on the street (6). Their existence on street is due to poverty, poor parenting, mistrust and abusive relationship and conflicts with family members. They are vulnerable to mental, social and physical problems. Moreover they are at increased risk of road traffic injuries because they spend most of their time on streets. These less fortune population are being under-represented in health research from long time (15). There awareness and practice about road safety measyres is very crucial because their livelihood is greatly associated with streets. Study objective: The study aimed to explore the awareness of children on street regarding road traffic injuries, its associated causes and to explore the knowledge and practices about road safety measures. Methods: Eight focus group discussions were held with children on the street age 10-15years and five key informant's interviews were done with head of the president of NGO, school psychologist, teacher and police man. Data was collected in azam basti, Hijrat colony and Mai Kolachi communities of Karachi using semi structure interview guide. Transcriptions were analyzed manually using content analysis method. Ethical principles were fundamental of this research study. Results: Children were knowledgeable about road traffic injuries and its several causes. They acknowledged their individual risk taking behavior as one of the causes of road traffic injuries. Moreover they were less aware about the road safety measure and have poor practice of road safety measure in their daily life. Conclusion: Effective educational intervention by NGOs aimed at behavioral change of children by providing the awareness of road safety measures and its consequences. Government is recommended to strictly reinforce traffic speed laws and take serious actions against non-compliance as define by laws. Also it is recommended to government, policy makers and transport department to include pedestrian signals in road traffic signals.

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