LILONGWE, Malawi Red Cross Society says First Aid need to be encouraged in all work places to avoid preventable loss of lives from injuries in the country
Malawi Red Cross Society National First Aid Coordinator Linda Mwambakulu said this in an interview with Mana in Lilongwe on Friday.
Mwambakulu encourages the general public to have at least one trained first aider in their respective homes and have a good number of employees trained in their workplace as one way of serving lives in time of any accident.
She said with a first aid kit readily available and a trained first aider would help people affected by accidents like floods, fire, motor accidents and any form of injury save lives that could be lost.
Mwambakulu explained that Red Cross is encouraging all individuals, companies and government sectors in the country to train people in first aid.
“We are appealing to the general public to become first aiders and serves life”, Mwambakulu said.
Mwambakulu further explained that Malawi Red Cross Society do take first aid seriously as it is one of their core mandates enacted by 1966 Parliament act 51 of the laws of Malawi.
“There is need of qualified first Aid providers in homes and workplaces for a quick and efficient response when any type of injury occurs”, said Mwambakulu.
“Red Cross is a source for a wide variety of first aid kits for a home use as well as workplaces,” pointed Mwambakulu.
She said Red Cross is working hand in hand with government through the Ministry of Health to sensitise people of all works of life on the need of Commercial first Aid.
Mwambakulu added that with the support from Belgium Red Cross, they have managed to institutionalise first aid.
“So far we have trained about 130 schools and colleges using the current manual which is in line with African First Aid Materials which meets the need of the local context unlike other institutions which use outdated materials,” emphasised Mwambakulu.
She appealed to all working places to be cautious and have trained personnel on first aid to avoid injuries which can be treated in good time and save lives.
“We cannot afford to lose a life waiting to be assisted at the hospital while we can ably do first aid in our homes and workplaces before handing them over to qualified medical personel,” stressed Mwambakulu.
She further said Red Cross would continue to provide Commercial First Aid trainings to all work places in the country.
Mwambakulu revealed that so far Red Cross offers Commercial first aid services to Sporting events, Public functions as well as national events.
Commenting on the same, Branch, Youth Development and Resource Mobilisation Manager Leonard Maganga appealed to Road Traffic Directorate to give licence to drivers who undergoes the first Aid training. “It is high time RTD start implementing the policy that drivers should undergo basic first aid training before obtaining the licence as one way of promoting safety in the roads of Malawi”, elaborated Maganga.
“Having a first aid kit is one thing but having a trained first aid provider is more important”, pointed Maganga.
Maganga also appealed to tourism hospitality industries and companies who value their human resources to include the component of first aid in their occupational health and safety package. Maganga urged the general public to start knocking at Red Cross Offices to seek for First Aid training in order to serve lives.
Speaking in a separate interview, a mini bus driver from Lilongwe Old town depot Lloyd Mvula welcomed the need for compulsory first aid training for all professional drivers.
Mvula said as a mini bus driver who is trusted with people’s lives needs to be trained in first aid basics.
“You cannot predict whatever happens on the road hence the need to have knowledge of first Aid as a life saving mechanism in case of accident,” pointed Mvula
He appealed to Road Traffic Directorate to engage the drivers in first aid training for the betterment of the both passengers and the driver.
The organisation has over 5,000 volunteers across the country that provides First Aid of which half of them are youth.
MRCS works hand in Hand with Ministry of health and other sectors such as labour, tourism, education and road safety.
Malawi Red Cross Society is Malawi’s oldest humanitarian organisation which started its operations in 1932 and established in Malawi under act 51 of 1966 parliament and first aid in Malawi started in 1932 in Zomba District under the British protectorate.c
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA