BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
THE inclusion of marginalised groups in first aid training is essential to prevent unnecessary loss of lives when natural disasters and accidents occur, Department of Civil Protection (DCP) director Nathan Nkomo has said.
On Saturday, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) marked the World First Aid Day with commemorations at Harare Gardens, where first aid teams from different corporates showcased disaster response skills under the theme First Aid and The Excluded.
In a keynote address, Nkomo, who was the guest of honour, said there is need for integration and mainstreaming of disaster risk management as exclusion of some members of society has worsened the impact of disasters and accidents in the country.
“I think this (first aid training) is a very critical component. In certain instances, we learn from our mistakes, but I am sure this type of preparedness will allow us to see how best we can continue to work together so that we spread the good gospel of first aid,” he said.
“We want people to be exposed regardless of their socio-economic status and physical conditions, so I call upon all first aid training stakeholders to make sure that everyone is included in first aid training and activities.”
Among the marginalised vulnerable groups are people living with disabilities, the aged, the homeless, prisoners, children and people living with chronic illnesses.
Calls for first aid education come at a time government’s response before, during and after Cyclone Idai in March this year left a lot to be desired, with many questioning the country’s disaster preparedness.
However, Nkomo called for early response to prevent death and injuries emanating from life-threatening disasters.
“Efforts need to be made to reduce the number of injuries, deaths resulting from all forms of accidents or disasters. We might have all the robust skills in first aid but the important issue is to prevent as we continue to sharpen our skills,” he said.