UNIMTECH launches ground-breaking research on health impact of tricycle drivers

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Dr. Ibrahim Sesay presenting the research works

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Last Friday, the University of Management and Technology (UNIMTECH), unveiled a pioneering study on the health effects of prolonged tricycle (kekeh) driving with improper sitting positions.

The ground-breaking research, the first of its kind in Sierra Leone, sheds light on the risks faced by tricycle drivers, including musculoskeletal complaints, due to their static sitting posture during long hours of driving.

Dr. Ibrahim Sesay, Director of Research at UNIMTECH, highlighted the significance of understanding the health consequences and ergonomic risks associated with tricycle driving in Freetown.

He emphasised the importance of improving the well-being of drivers and ensuring the sustainability of the transportation system based on the research findings.

The study aims to examine the effects of prolonged inappropriate sitting positions on kekeh drivers’ health, evaluate the impact of ergonomic conditions, and determine the role of mental stress and driver height on their well-being.

 Dr. Sesay emphasised that the research revealed significant challenges, including back pain and knee problems, attributed to inadequate sitting arrangements in tricycles.

Notably, the research findings showed that 97% of tricycle drivers are male, with the majority being youths aged between 20 to 31 years and predominantly with secondary education.

Additionally, the study highlighted how drivers height negatively affects their sitting position, with 62% of respondents acknowledging that issue.

The research recommendations include implementing ergonomic features, providing education and training for kekeh drivers, enforcing regulatory measures, and fostering research and innovation in the transportation sector.

The research serves as a crucial step towards addressing the health challenges faced by tricycle drivers and enhancing their working conditions for a healthier and more sustainable transport system.

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