Saturday, 11th September

Be a “first aid hero in you school or community” is this year’s world First Aid Day theme. Most countries and national societies, including the Fiji Red Cross Society would have had planned activities with schools, either to be celebrated within the week or throughout the month of September.

However, given the challenges faced this year with the ongoing pandemic, the Fiji Red Cross Society held virtual sessions from the 6th to the 10th of September. These sessions were an hour long, averaging three sessions a day, with the exception of one day in the week, in which Fiji’s Constitution Day was observed as a public holiday.

With the COVID-19 health crisis affecting Fiji since April, the Fiji Red Cross Society has worked extremely hard to put out an event that could reach targeted groups in this year’s World First Aid Day. The Online First Aid Awareness sessions was the very first online event organised by the Fiji Red Cross Society to mark this important day.

online first aid awareness 1

The event had an amazing turnout. We had 203 participants on the day, out of the 273 who had expressed their interest to participate. The youngest participant was three(3) years old and the oldest participant was fifty four(54) years old. This was a testimony to the great interest from the people of Fiji, to learn first aid as preparation to offering a helping hand during emergencies and to save lives. The course also covered COVID-19 safety messaging given its life saving implications in these unprecedented times.

online first aid awareness pic 3

According to the World Health Organisation, “injuries at home, road accidents, drowning and fire represent a large proportion of the causes of child deaths, particularly for older children. These injuries are responsible for 950,00 deaths every year worldwide. About 90% of these deaths are caused by unintentional injuries such as road traffic injuries, drowning and fire related burns. Substances found in and around the home are the most commonly cause of poisoning.

With ominous figures like these, it is important therefore to educate, develop skills around emergency care, encourage a culture of safety for the successful prevention of child injury. Driven therefore by necessity, the theme this year was aimed to advocate for First Aid in schools and the community as a  first line of prevention and safety of the child.

The Fiji Red Cross believes everyone can save lives by implementing life saving actions and making their environment safer, including children. First aid training can be made accessible to teachers who can train students by adapting the material to suit appropriate age groups. Learning first aid, for children can also be valuable and rewarding as they learn soft skills such as confidence, keeping a cool head in emergencies, kindness and willingness to help others as well as safety and prevention for themselves and those around them.

No one is immune to possible emergencies. It is therefore essential that first aid is taught at school to ensure we have communities that are able to practice and carry out life saving actions. The Fiji Red Cross encourages schools, teachers & FRCS Training Clients to reach out to the Fiji Red Cross on First Aid Training courses available. They may email Riaz Khan, the FRCS Safety Coordinator at riaz.khan@redcross.com.fj, for more information. The Fiji Red Cross is committed to the facilitation of First Aid Training and has been for the last forty years.

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