Aug 6, 2009, 10:19 AM
Every year, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement commemorates the day on the second Saturday in September.
In this vein, all the national Red Cross societies usually organised national-level activities in commemoration of the day.The theme of this year’s day is “First Aid and the ageing population”.
Speaking to The Point newspaper on the occasion, Lamin Gassama of Gambia Red Cross Society, said everyone should know how to save a life and taking care of the ageing population is to recognize the older people as an important resource.
He said training the older people on first aid means they can take swift and effective action by themselves to reduce serious injuries, spot early warning signs for non-communicable diseases such as strokes.
Mr Gassama said the Gambia Red Cross Society’s commemoration of World First Aid Day aims at raising awareness on the importance of first aid and develop more positive approach towards the idea of learning first aid.
“Every five second, someone dies from injury whether that is from an accident or natural disaster.So we are all at risk when it comes to emergencies. Anyone anywhere at any time can be affected with little to no warning,” he said.
Mr Gassama further said with proper first aid training, people would know what to do if children are choked on a toy or a friend got hurt during accident or someone is drowning.
He noted that the easiest way to prepare to save a life is to get trained in first aid.
He called on the government to support first aid training and education in places where people at every age can learn to make a difference, in schools, workspaces and driving programmers.
“Here in The Gambia, the attempt to more efforts is needed in order to get it moving at the pace,” Mr Gassama said.“This is important because first aid is the first step in the chain of survival during an emergency.”
He said there are plans to advocate the issue of compulsory first aid training for people acquiring a driving licence.
Mr Gassama said laws making first aid compulsory at every stage of the life cycle result in both the lifesaving skills, build more resilient communities and better prepare neighbours and friends to act when the next disaster strikes.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent has trained more than 14 million people all over the world on first aid every year.
In The Gambia, out of 2,000 registered volunteers of the Gambia Red Cross, 1,500 have received first aid training of whom 40 are trained as first aid instructors.
Mr Gassama said the Gambia Red Cross also trains over 500 individuals yearly, who either come from different organisation or as individuals.