Zimbabwe is intensifying emergency care skills training, a development that seeks to save lives in the event of an accident and disasters, a Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe top official has said.
Speaking during the belated World First Aid Day commemorations in Gweru this weekend, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe director, Munesuishe Munodawafa said the overwhelming rate of accidents in the country required a skilled community to save lives.
“We are living in trying times and every day we read about people dying mostly in road traffic accidents and this heightens the need for people to be trained in First aid so that anyone who arrives at an accident scene before the ambulance can render lifesaving skills.
“First Aid becomes critical because every second counts in a crisis and professional medical help may not always be immediately available. And so, by taking action through effective first aid, many lives can be saved and the impact of injuries lessened.”
Munowafa noted a trained community was critical as it can provide basic medical care to treat minor injuries and preserve life until professional medical help arrives at the scene.
Speaking at the same event, Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) president Edson Mlambo noted research over the years has shown lives of 90 percent accident victims in the country can be saved if emergency care is availed early.
“First aid used to be recognized as the domain of medical or paramedical personnel, but today all experts recognize that the general public must be trained in first aid because it is effective in saving lives.”
ZRCS secretary general, Elias Hwenga, concurred that first aid training was critical in any development discourse adding it prepares the country to respond better to emergencies and disasters.
“First aid remains an integral part of a broader development approach within the Red Cross, aiming at reducing the impact of disasters, the number of deaths and illness, and at increasing local communities and civil society’s capacities.
“What drives our motivation as a humanitarian organization is the fact that every life counts and every person deserves medical assistance without discrimination,” said Mlambo.