Accidents don’t happen with pre-notice; they can occur anytime, anywhere to anyone. We do not know what can happen in our life and it is out of our control. But we would feel distress if we cannot help someone who has an accident; they can be any unknown passerby, acquaintances, relatives, family members or our loved ones. We may be present to help, but if we don’t have any skills to aid the injured person, it would be one of the most regretful situations. We would be desperate to help, but our actions can be even more dangerous if we do not have skills. Many lives can be saved if we have adequate skills. We can understand it better if we take an example that is as simple as to control bleeding. Hypovolmic shock is a life-threatening condition which is the result of a rapid loss of blood or body fluids. Only if we can control excessive bleeding, a person’s life can be saved. Similarly, proper handling of an injured person is another important skill. Such as, if someone has a spinal injury, only lifting their head can be life-threatening i.e. if mishandled; it can even kill that person. Skills such as handling broken limbs, choke release, properly carrying the injured in stretchers, CPR techniques, first aid for burns can be obtained by First Aid Training, which is quite essential in our day to day life.
This kind of training is very essential specially in a country like Nepal, which has lack of health facilities, where people still have to travel far distances to find a hospital or a health post, where people do not even get paracetamol for minor headache or ORS for diarrhea, and in places where people have lack of education and awareness about health. According to report based on the information collected by the Health Management Information System (HMIS) of DoHS from the health institutions across the country, the main institutions that delivered basic health services in fiscal year2073/74 were the 123 public hospitals including other ministries, the 1,715 non-public health facilities, the 200 primary health care centres (PHCCs) and the 3,808 health posts. (http://dohs.gov.np/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Glimpse_FY_%202073-74.pdf) But these health posts are not enough for immediate health services during emergencies. Still most of the people in rural areas of Nepal do not have those facilities and suffer untimely death, even if they had chances to be saved. If only they have the skills of providing first aid, there can be reduction of maximum numbers of untimely deaths.
Rescue Network Nepal (RNN) is therefore providing First Aid Training (Advanced Trauma Life Support Training) to people of different parts of the country since last 6 years with the objective of forming a network of trained first aiders all over the country. These first aiders would be the volunteers of RNN who would be available to help in any accidents that can either be road accident or other household accidents. In the experience of the last 6 years, this training in first aid has been very beneficial and one of the most important things that every individual should learn, and is essential in our day to day life. While travelling to different parts of Nepal with this organization, I have seen lots of places where people living there seem like they are lagging far behind from modernization. They do not even have roads; then how will they have medical facilities? In a place called Sakhatar, Makwanpur, we got to know that people there use tubes of vehicles to travel on water if someone gets ill. Being the neighboring district of the Metropolitan city, the people there face such problems, then we cannot even imagine about those places which are far away from the center. Though Nepal is a developing country, some places here are still untouched by development. For sure, the new governance system of Nepal is federal, but practically it is still unitary, based on centralization. We have reached places like Mugu, Jumla, Kalikot, which are some of the most remote and least developed parts of Nepal, and have seen the backwardness of Nepali societies. Especially due to lack of health services, those places need these kinds of training that teaches them skills to aid people in emergencies.
We know that every school should provide these kinds of training but it’s not yet included in our curriculum. Thus community based training should be provided to all the people. We understand its importance because even the short training can make a difference in day-to-day life of people. So Rescue Network Nepal is enhancing First Aid Training in Nepal.