Red Cross Offers First Aid Training To Zim Members Of Parliament

THE Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCR), has just completed a week long basic first aid training for legislators in a bid to equip them with first aid skills requisite in resuscitating accident survivors in the event of an emergency.

By Michael Gwarisa

According to the Red Cross, they kicked off the training with Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport who will then cascade the skills  to the general public in their respective constituencies.

Speaking during a basic first aid training for the motoring public for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development  that was held from 11 to 14 November in Kariba, Red Cross Society Secretary General Mr Elias Hwenga the move would enhance legislators capacity to disseminate first aid knowledge to their constituencies.

I have the honour of speaking today on this important occasion as we pioneer a milestone in reducing loss of lives due to carnages on our roads in Zimbabwe through Basic First Aid training for the Motoring Public. And aptly, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development have made history, being the first trainees for this specialized first aid training in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Hwenga.

He added that the loss of lives on Zimbabwe`s highways was highly regrettable and, in most cases, help for road accident victims is delayed due to lack of first aid knowledge, distance and communication challenges.

“In most cases the first responder to the scene is another road user or motorist, who unfortunately does not have basic first aid training or knowledge. The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society is a first aid training service provider of choice, providing appropriate, evidence-based first aid and health care training services to all sectors in Zimbabwe. Because we strongly believe that everyone has a potential to save life, we aim to train as many people as possible in first aid in Zimbabwe as provision of First Aid and nurse aide training services is one of our key mandate aimed at saving lives.”

The Red Cross first aid courses are tailor made for industry, mining and the commun
ity at large. First Aid is a lifesaving skill which you can rely on at any given 
time. 

“We have read about students drowning in swimming pools at schools, some families losing their beloved children to emergencies at homes and the many road accidents that continue to claim lives every other day. All such unfortunate incidents call for us to be equipped with basic First Aid skills so that we know how to respond to emergencies as they arise.

“Zimbabwe Red Cross offers quality first aid education and services which are delivered according to up-to-date evidence based guidelines and best practice. Our courses are flexible and we always adapt to local context with respect to gender and diversity. First aid is by no means a replacement for emergency services; it is a vital initial step for providing effective and swift action that helps to reduce serious injuries and improve the chances of survival. Taking immediate action and applying the appropriate techniques makes a difference when saving lives”

Mr Hwenga also said first aid is a key pillar for building safer, more resilient communities which in turn are best placed to increase the impact of disaster preparedness and reduce risks to health.

“First aid is not only about life saving techniques. First aid is an act of humanity showing willingness to save lives with full respect for diversity and without discrimination. By definition, First aid is the immediate help provided to a sick or injured person until professional help arrives. It is concerned not only with physical injury or illness but also with other initial care which includes psychosocial support for people suffering emotional distress caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

“A First aider is a layperson trained and certified in first aid, who is able to use this knowledge and skills to protect and save lives, as well as to mobilise and assist a community to be prepared to respond to emergency situations. There is need for all Zimbabweans to have basic knowledge of First Aid given that emergencies are a daily phenomenon. First Aid remains an integral component in our everyday lives, whether at home, school, workplace or travelling.  Bearing in mind that no one of us is as strong as all of us together, it is imperative that we continue working together for the good of humanity.”

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