General News Tue, 1 Jan 2008

Ghana marks World Civil Defence Day Today

Ghana will on Saturday, March 1, join the international community to celebrate World Civil Defence Day on the theme: "Civil Defence and Basic First Aid Techniques" under the auspices of the Geneva-based International Civil Defence Organization (ICDO). The celebration of the day is aimed at creating awareness on the need for basic first aid skills at all levels of society to save life in times of disasters and other emergencies.

Mr. Douglas Akrofi-Asiedu, National Coordinator at the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), who launched the day on behalf of Mr. Kwamena Bartels, Minister of the Interior, said as a moral and civic duty, it was incumbent on all governments as well as both private and public institutions to ensure that they created a safe and secure work and residential environment for their citizens and employees respectively. "Experience has shown that in a secure and safe work environment, morale and productivity are of higher standards. So it is in all situations, be it at home, school or any other place," Mr. Akrofi-Asiedu said. He said the objective of the celebration was to encourage member states to establish and implement nationwide educational programmes on basic first aid techniques.

He said first aid was an integral part of disaster management as its timely and proper application save lives in the event of a disaster. Mr. Akrofi-Asiedu reminded the public that the International Labour Organization law on safety at workplaces makes it mandatory for all employers to protect workers against work-related sickness, disease and injury. "The primary goal of this concept is to promote opportunities for men and women to obtain decent and productive working conditions of freedom,

equity, security and dignity."


Mr. Akrofi-Asiedu pointed out that due to lack of life-saving skills, people who happened to be at accident scenes became so confused that their actions rather worsened the conditions of the victims. He added that even though it was mandatory for all commercials vehicles to be equipped with first aid kit, most of the first aid boxes in vehicles were just empty boxes marked with Red Cross emblem. He called all government agencies and private organizations to inculcate the culture of life-saving awareness in their staff by equipping them with basic first aid knowledge.

"Let me remind all Ghanaians that first aid as part of emergency management is the responsibility of every individual," Mr Akrofi-Asiedu said. Dr. Osei Akom, Deputy National Coordinator in-charge of Finance and Administration at NADMO, read a message from Mr. Nawaf Al-Sleibi, Secretary General of ICDO, saying the only economically viable solution to prevent disasters was to increase as much as possible basic first aid training among the general public.

"It would be better to have a multitude of individuals who know essential basic life-saving techniques than a handful of life-saving specialists."

The ICDO by a resolution at its Ninth General Assembly in Geneva designated March 1 of every year for the celebration World Civil Defence Day aimed at creating public awareness on civil defence, service tasks, that is, safeguarding life, property and the environment from natural and man-made disasters.

Source: GNA