The Chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch, Adebola Kolawole, has cautioned institutions not to stop first aid training, due to fear of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Kolawole gave the warning on Saturday to mark the 2020 World First Aid Day (WFAD).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WFAD is celebrated on the second Saturday in September annually, to raise awareness and train people on how first aid can save lives, not only in crisis situations but also in daily living.
The theme for 2020, which was originally tagged “First Aid for School Children” was later changed to, “First Aid During COVID-19 Pandemic” because schools were closed due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Mrs Kolawole said that this year’s theme aimed at teaching children, young people, teachers and parents about first aid techniques that could help reduce accidents and their consequences.
“In spite of the current fears about COVID-19 pandemic and the focus on the prevention of its spread and treatment, spreading first aid knowledge and conducting training must continue and should not be stopped, not even during the current pandemic,” she said in a statement made available to NAN.
Mrs Kolawole noted that accidents will continue to happen and people still fall ill or get injured.
She added that it was of utmost importance that everyone knows what to do and the right steps to take in case of an emergency.
“When we call on the emergency toll-free numbers, you will agree with me that, at times, it takes up to 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
“These 10 minutes are extremely crucial and even with the best emergency treatment, people can still lose their lives.
“The current situation forces all of us to adopt mitigation and adaptation processes in order to avoid having new victims of COVID-19 among the first aid providers or emergency responders.
“While responding to emergencies, there is a need for every one of us to embrace the `new normal’, new skills to be learnt,” she said.
She recommended that institutions adopt what she referred to as, “The New First Aid Education” which is tailored to meet the federal and state governments’ guidelines on curbing the spread of COVID-19.
On the new response techniques, Mrs Kolawole said moving the crowd away from the scene and casualty in an accident is very important.
“Initial assessment should begin from a distance of at least six feet from the patient, if possible.
“Respiration assessment steps — look, listen and feel — should depend mainly on look, to minimise closer contact with the patient,” she said.