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30 volunteers undergo training on community-based health and first aid

Sep 27, 2013, 10:23 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore-Njie

Thirty volunteers drawn from the Kanifing Municipality and the West Coast Region are currently taking part in a six-day training on community-based health and first aid.

Underway at the Sanyang Nature Camp, the training, among others, seeks to capacitise the volunteers from the two regions on a wide range of issues covering first aid and community-based health care.

Speaking at the opening of the training, Bai Cham, Secretary General of the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS), underscored the importance of the training, describing it as timely.

According to him, the overall objectives of the training are to enable the national society to contribute to the reduction of deaths, illnesses, injuries and impact from disease and disaster and to also increase the capacities of local communities, civil society and the Red Cross to better address the most urgent situation of the vulnerable.

Cham noted that the Gambia Red Cross Society is an auxiliary institution to the Government of The Gambia and partner of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in working towards the attainment of the MDG goal of health as enshrined in the national health development plan.

GRCS role, he said, is vital to the development of the society.

He commended the National Society for providing avenues that enable them to contribute to sustainable development and strengthen community resilience.

“Using this approach to attaining Good health - the state of physical, mental and social well-being - enables us to enjoy our human rights in fuller measure. Our health activities are intended to reduce individual and community vulnerability, Mr Cham said.

“Increased life expectancy, changing birthrate patterns, persistent gender inequalities, together with social, economic and personal behavioral trends, have all contributed to a significant change in disease patterns.”

For her part, Madam Issa Faal, the health delegate of the Sahel based in Dakar, said the training is a pilot project the Gambia Red Cross as a national Red Cross Society has been the first to benefit from.

She urged the volunteers to make best use of the opportunity and ensure the success of the training.

She underscored the need for communities to be empowered, saying this is why they should be at the forefront of issues.

Natxo Gargo, representative of the Spanish Red Cross society, also explained that the training formed part of a pilot project and the Spanish Red Cross is supporting the same operation in the Upper River Region.

While expressing hope for a successful training, Gargo said this is not the first time the Gambia Red Cross Society is engaging in such trainings.

Other speakers on the occasion included Fatou B. Gaye, acting-health officer of the Gambia Red Cross Society, and Dembo Sillah, national coordinator for the Gambia Red Cross, who both expressed delight and hope that by the end of the training, all the volunteers will be fully equipped with the required knowledge to be able to feed the society positively without doubt.