Helmet Factory to Open in Uganda

According to the Ugandan website “New Vision Online,” the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation is planing to open a factory to produce low-cost bicycle helmets in that country. The AIPF has already opened factories to meet the needs of the growing Asian helmet market with designs suitable for the tropical climate.

Now, in conjunction with helmet legislation and promotion programmes supported by the Federation International Automobile Foundation and the World Bank’s global road safety office, a new factory is proposed for Uganda.

It is not clear whether this factory is planned to meet Asian demand or will be used to support new helmet promotion campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa.

African bicycle taxis (boda-bodas) are an ideal target for helmet promotion. Ugandan statistics quoted in the news release suggest that bicycle and motorcycle fatalities are on the rise.  Voluntary uptake of “loaner” helmets has been poor because of perceptions that these are “dirty and spread disease.” Relatively inexpensive personal helmets might be an aceptable solution.