South Africa

Provincial health dept offers first responder training in Arcadia

The Gauteng Health Department recently announced that it will be running a first responder training programme from March to December 2023.

The announcement comes after the department reported to have received 175 913 calls at the Gauteng emergency medical services communications centre from December 2022 to February 2023.

Of the calls made, there was an average of 31 180 medical incidents reported, 6 955 trauma incidents, 2 391 accidents and 1 037 suicide incidents. The department said due to the sheer volume of calls every month, knowing what to do in an emergency is imperative.

The programme was recently launched at the Department of Health Lebone College of Emergency Care (LCEC) on Steve Biko Road in Arcadia.

The programme is said to mainly target residents from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Rolling out this programme at the township, informal settlements and hostel (TISH) communities is a critical intervention in our strategy to reduce the burden of disease at our facilities. When people are empowered they will be able to respond properly during emergencies,” said health and wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

The training is said to be able to assist participants to respond to commonly reported emergencies such as trauma, accidents, and medical and suicide incidents while they wait for emergency services to arrive

Participants will learn how to assist a patient that has convulsions, has been shot or stabbed, victims that have fallen from heights, that have a sprain, that has sustained burns or who are drowning.

The Department clarifies that the certificate is meant to empower residents to perform life-saving interventions and is not one of medical competency.

Training is free of charge and those interested are urged to contact the GDoH’s Leone College of Emergency Care for more info at [email protected] or 012 356 8000.

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