The President of the Ghana Red Cross Society, Dr Michael Agyekum Addo, has called on corporate bodies, including government establishments, to let their staff acquire basic first aid training to protect themselves and others around them.
That, according to him, would help prevent a lot of the avoidable and unnecessary deaths across the country.
Dr Agyekum Addo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of KAMA Group of Companies Limited, said this at the passing-out of the first batch of 28 pharmacy students from the School of Pharmacy of the University of Ghana, Legon, who underwent training in first aid at the university.
The training became necessary after the Ghana Red Cross Society signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the pharmacy department of the university to train all final year pharmacy students in first aid.
According to him, the rate at which people were dying through sudden attacks was alarming, and that basic knowledge in first aid could help resuscitate a colleague in the office or help rescue people safely during an accident.
He expressed regret that although acquiring skills in first aid was part of the requirements for a licence to drive any commercial vehicle in the country, that law was not being enforced.
He said if administering first aid was taken seriously in the country, a lot of untimely deaths currently occurring could be curtailed.
Dr Addo asked the students to put the training to good use.
He also called on the to go into voluntary services such as joining the Ghana Red Cross Society so that they could do charity work for the poor and needy.
He also admonished them not to let monetary gains be the focus of their work, rather they should give their best as professionals even when there was no cash benefit attached.
The Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Professor Alexander Nyarko, commended the Ghana Red Cross for the initiative.
According to him, there were a lot of avoidable and preventable deaths in the country which could be prevented if people were given basic first aid training.
He said pharmacists, as front line healthcare providers in many communities, were critical in the training in first aid.
To him, the training would help add value to their profession as they would be sought after in the communities where they found themselves because of the extra knowledge that they possessed.
The Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy, Dr Barima Amissah Afrane, said besides their proficiency in pharmacy, pharmacists needed to equip themselves with basic life-saving skills.
According to him, pharmacists in communities were very much underutilised as people only regarded them as dispensers of drugs.
He, therefore, called on the first batch of trainees to help change that perception.
The students were taken through topics such as: ‘How to handle foreign bodies, unconsciousness, excessive bleeding, shock and fainting, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), handling accident scenes and domestic accidents.’