Gauteng Health equips communities with emergency response  skills

Considering  that out of the 175 913 calls received by the Gauteng Emergency Medical Services’ Communication Centre between December 2022 and February 2023, there was an average of 31180 medical incidents, 6 955 trauma incidents, 2 391 accidents and 1 037 suicide incidents on a monthly basis, knowledge of what to do becomes critical.

Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko recently launched the First  Responder Training offered by the Gauteng Department of Health’s Lebone College of Emergency Care (LCEC) to run from March to December 2023 in all districts across the province targeting 2 500 individuals from Townships, Informal Settlements and Hostels (TISH).

“Rolling out this programme at 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,” explained MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko.

Participants will be empowered to be able to respond to commonly encountered emergencies such as trauma, accidents, medical and suicide incidents while awaiting emergency response teams. They will also be equipped with skills on how to assist victims when they have convulsions, stab or gunshot wounds, victims who fell from heights, people with sprains and those who sustained burns, as well as those who are drowning.

Over 100 community members at Kwa-Masiza Hostel in Sebokeng became the first cohort to undergo training and receive certificates of attendance. This is not a competency certificate as the training is meant to empower communities to render first responder lifesaving-interventions.

“The training has been very helpful and effective as I am now equipped with the necessary skills to safely respond and save the lives of my fellow community members. It has also sparked my interest in pursuing a career in Emergency Medical Care,” said Ayanda Begana (30) one of the participants.

The training is offered free of charge. Groups interested in the first responder training, especially unemployed youth and people in community structures are encouraged to enquire with GDoH’s Leone College of Emergency Care so that they can be included in future programmes.

 The college can be reached at leboneenquiries@ gauteng.gov.za or 012 356 8000.

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