PehlayZindagi: ICRC campaign on right of way and respect for ambulances

Islamabad (ICRC) – A nationwide public awareness campaign entitled PehlayZindagi: Give Way to Ambulances – Give Way to Life  has been launched at a ceremony in Islamabad. The campaign draws attention to an important health-care issue in Pakistan as part of the wider International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) global Health Care in Danger project, addressing the issue of violence against health personnel and services. The campaign is supported by over 30 partner organizations from across the country and will carry on until December 2017.  

Chief guest at the launch, Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar, said: “It is so painful every time we hear that someone could not survive for not being able to arrive at the hospital in time. Ambulances are not merely vehicles; they are symptomatic of a struggling life for which every minute is important.” She lauded the private and public organizations who have joined forces with the ICRC to take this important public cause forward.

As part of PehlayZindagi, a public pledge campaign will use TV, radio and social media to urge citizenry to respect and give way to ambulances by pledging their commitment. Whoever takes the pledge and spreads the message becomes a member of “Friends for Life” – a virtual platform aiming to introduce contemporary Pakistan to its social obligations. Awareness activities for motorists, a dedicated website and a pledge app have also been developed.

Recognizing the key role that the media can play in making people aware of this message, the ICRC and its partner organizations have called upon the sector to get involved in highlighting the importance of this life-saving mode of transport. The campaign also seeks to sensitize people to the issues faced by ambulance staff so as to bring about behavioural change among the public and policy-makers.

PehlayZindagi is the second edition of the ambulance campaign. In 2016 the RastaDein campaign received an overwhelmingly positive response from the media and the public. The campaign’s impact, measured through an observational study, stood at a promising 16%. This year, the impact of the campaign on motorists’ behaviour towards ambulances will be systematically assessed before and after the campaign through observational studies. The ICRC and its partners recognize that they will need to sustain their efforts over several years to make a lasting impact.

The following partners will work alongside the ICRC to promote the campaign:

Al-Hamra Arts Council, Aman Foundation, APPNA Institute of Public Health, Canteen Stores Department, Capital Development Authority, City Administration of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Karachi and Lahore, Edhi Foundation, federal and provincial ministries of health, I Am Karachi, Isra University, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Khyber Medical University, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Punjab/Islamabad Traffic Police, Lady Reading Hospital, Pakistan Red Crescent, Pakistan State Oil, Rescue 1122 Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, The Indus Hospital, University of Health Sciences Lahore, and Youth Parliament Pakistan.

For more information,

please visit the campaign website:


or take the pledge by downloading the RastaDein pledge app from

Apple Store or Google Play