BY SILISIWE MABALEKA FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has urged the Zimbabwe Red Cross to take its first aid programmes to the grassroots to equip communities with health-related knowledge.
Speaking at Bulawayo’s United College of Education (UCE) graduation ceremony of first aid trainees on Wednesday, the First Lady, who is also a holder of a first aid certificate, said Bulawayo was the first province to introduce the programme.
“I asked the Zimbabwe Red Cross to take its programme to the grassroots. We are going to different provinces, with Bulawayo being the first to have this programme,” Mnangagwa said.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs and Devolution minister Judith Ncube said many people would benefit from the programme.
“This is a graduation ceremony for women and men trained in first aid. Being a first aid graduate herself, her Excellency Amai Auxillia (Mnangagwa) will be capping 200 men, women and youth who have completed the course. The graduates will administer first aid services when need arises,” Ncube said.
“This initiative will assist communities. It also aids the President’s mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” (We are masters of our own destiny). Many people will benefit from this intervention.”
Zimbabwe Red Cross secretary-general Elias Hwenga said the programme sought to capacitate communities to save lives.
“We urge more people to undergo first aid training. First aid training reduces loss of lives. The First Lady underwent the same training and requested the training to be cascaded down to the grassroots so as to benefit communities.
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“Graduates can attest to how this programme aligns well with Sustainable Development Goal number five, which speaks to bridging gender disparities and according women equal opportunities. At Red Cross, we aim to train as many people as possible, having the mandate to save lives,” Hwenga said.
Zimbabwe Red Cross Society partnered the First Lady’s charity organisation, Angel of Hope, to train people first aid for free despite the fact that the course costs US$70.