Guyanese urged to take up first aid training

– as disaster risk reduction day marked

The Guyana Red Cross Society yesterday bemoaned the poor state of first aid training in Guyanese homes, as International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was observed.

The United Nations in collaboration with the Civil Defence Commission of Guyana yesterday held an exhibition at the Sophia Exhibition Centre in observance of the day.

Recognizing that wise investments in disaster preparedness sensitizing programmes and involvement of children in those plans play a vital role in times of disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and droughts among others, this year’s theme was ‘Step up for Disaster Risk Reduction: Making Children and Young People Partners for Disaster Risk Reduction’.

A message from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was played for the audience on television. In his message the secretary general stressed the need for children to be empowered and gave examples of the critical roles they play.  He also stated that while nature contributed to natural disasters, the role of humans was also important.

He said, “Each time disaster strikes nature is often blamed. Rarely do we think about human actions that increase risk and turn danger into catastrophe.”

Secretary General of the Guyana Red Cross Society, Dorothy Fraser, noted that basic first aid training was not being given to individuals throughout Guyana. As such, many homes are without a person trained in this survival skill discipline.

She said it is quite frightening to imagine what would happen, should a disaster occur in this country. She implored Guyanese to enrol for classes offered by the Red Cross since over 80 per cent of disasters occur when persons least expect and are thus ill prepared.

Children from schools countrywide were part of the day’s activities and many could be seen taking notes during their walk through of the exhibition.

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is commemorated on October 13 yearly and was birthed out of a United Nations initiative to dedicate a day where persons globally would recognize the importance of always being prepared for times of disasters.

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