Rwanda Marks World First Aid Day

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By Daniel Sabiiti

Community first aid volunteers demonstrate lifesaving skills

Accidents within the community and families in Kigali will soon have persons to handle such emergences after graduation of the pioneer group of community-based first aid volunteers.

Rwanda Red Cross today presented certificates to the first aid volunteer teams for each sector known as the Local Disaster Response Team (LDRT). The teams trained is first aid skills and universal lifesaving skills.

The graduation comes on the occasion of the World First Aid Day celebrated this on 9th September, 2017 the Rwanda Red Cross Society is targeting to increase knowledge and skills of lifesaving gesturers through first aid training.

Red Cross is training first aid volunteer teams for each sector known as the Local Disaster Response Team (LDRT) – who are also Disaster Response teams in the City of Kigali.

The LDRT is composed of 15-20 individuals selected in consultation with sector authorities and are persons of integrity and good conduct in their community.

These serve a decentralized administrative unit with approximately 30,000 people based on the results of the 2015 national census.

Nkiko Samson, the Head of Community First Aid services at the Rwanda Red Cross said that training session for sector first aiders for eight sectors of Gasabo district will be extended to all districts.

“Throughout September, other sector teams will be reached by Red Cross trainers with a target to have 205 LDR teams trained and equipped. This represents close to 50% coverage of the country by the end of 2017” Nkiko said.

Besides responding during emergencies, local disaster response teams are responsible for equipping communities with first aid skills with particular focus on secondary schools and traders associations with support from respective Red Cross district committees.

“First aid training provides more than the knowledge and skills to effectively respond – it also provides the confidence to act when needed. Red Cross First Aid offers a wide variety of first aid and CPR training courses, empowering people to act on, prevent, and manage life’s emergencies,” Ndimbati Pierre Claver, Rwanda Red Cross’ acting Secretary General shares.

Rwanda Red Cross says all Rwandans to ensure they have the skills needed to save lives when an emergency happens both at home, work or even at leisure events.

For both corporates and individuals, we have tailor-made first aid training courses responding to your everyday needs and on very affordable rates. The prices are fixed largely to enable us purchase the necessary consumables in the training, and to finance skills development among communities that cannot afford to pay like what is going on with the establishment of LDRTs” Dr. Pascal, Kayiranga the head of Events First Aid and Training services at the Rwanda Red Cross.

World First Aid Day (WFAD) is an opportunity to promote and advocate for first aid knowledge and skills for the wider public.

WFAD also recognizes the important role that National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other organizations have in providing quality first aid training worldwide as a way of building peoples’ capacity to respond in situations of injury or illness.

Every year, millions of people face preventable injury or lose their lives in domestic accidents that occur at home.  Having first aid skills is a vital step and allows providing swift action to reduce or stabilize serious injuries and to improve chances of survival of a casualty.

This year, the theme of WFAD is “Domestic Accidents” which refers to preventable or unintentional injuries that occur in the home environment. Domestic accidents affect all populations, regardless of age, sex, income, or geographic region.

Homes are often perceived as safe places but unfortunately this is where 80 % of accidents occur and very often in the living room.

Worldwide, the most common preventable injuries that occur in homes are a result of electrical shocks, burns, poisoning, choking, drowning, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest and falling.

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