Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has raised concern over the loss of lives on the country’s highways due to lack of first aid knowledge from first responders.
Speaking at the Basic First Aid for the Motoring Public training for members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development in Kariba ZRCS secretary general Elias Hwenga said first aid is a replacement for emergency services.
“The loss of lives on Zimbabwe`s highways is 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.
“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. 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,” said Hwenga
In his remarks, Committee chairperson Oscar Gorerino said loss of lives can be reduced if first responders are equipped with skills on first aid rendering.
“Statistics collected over the past few years from both developing and developed countries have indicated that loss of lives as a result of road traffic accidents can be reduced if the first responders to the scenes are properly equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes of First Aid rendering in order to correctly and safely handle the intense but stressful situations at accident scenes.
“We want to acknowledge and applaud the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in partnership with the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Harare City Fire department, for this a tailor made First Aid course for road users on accident response that could be beneficial for the appreciation of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development, the Parliament and the country at large.
“This training is generally aimed at equipping learner and certified drivers, crew members and passengers with First Aid knowledge, skills and attitudes as a component of Disaster Risk Management on Zimbabwe`s roads. This, we are certain, will reduce the number of accident-related disabilities as well as deaths in worst case scenarios on our roads due to late First Aid rendering to the injured.” said Gorerino