Ifeanyi Okechi, Enugu
No fewer than 80 persons living with disabilities in Enugu and Abia states have benefitted from the Nigerian Red Cross Society training on how to promptly respond to emergencies.
In Abia, the state chapter trained more than 40 hearing and mentally impaired students and teachers of the Abia State Centre for Education, in basic first aid, at the World Bank Housing Estate, Umuahia, while a similar number were trained at the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, Emene, Enugu.
The programme was organised as part of activities commemorating this year’s World First Aid Day celebration with, the theme “Addressing Social Exclusion Through First Aid,” a global observance usually held on the second Saturday of every September.
Editor and translator of the Abia special school, Ikemba Onyekwere, said that the school had never received such an impactful and wonderful training since its inception.
He expressed gratitude to the society for giving the students and teachers a sense of belonging and urged to them to continue their good work to humanity irrespective of challenges.
The principal of the school, Mrs. Kanu A.J., thanked the Red Cross Society for extending love and care to the students and teachers of the school.
In the Enugu event, the state’s training officer of Red Cross, Mrs Florence Nwafor said that first aid skill was vital for everyone in the society, noting that the training was in line with the vision of the Red Cross: “Every community has groups of people often unseen and are unable to enjoy the general benefits that are accessible to all. Such disadvantaged groups include people with disabilities, older people, prisoners, as well as rural dwellers. Some of these persons are more likely to be injured or become ill suddenly or come in contact with someone needing help.
“The aim of this training is to make first aid practices available to these people in order to make them able to provide timely and effective assistance in case of emergencies, to help reduce the damage to victim until the arrival of medical help”.
In his remarks, principal of the school, Mr Anthony Agu while commending the Red Cross for the training also called for support from individuals and organizations: “We appreciate the Red Cross for this skill they have impacted in us today. It will be of utmost relevance to our students and will go a long way to help us know how to take care of ourselves in emergency situations.
“I also want to seek the support and assistance of other organizations and well- meaning Nigerians. There are so many things lacking in this school because it is a vocational centre.
“Our students are into tailoring, carpentry, shoemaking, computer repairs and so on and we lack equipment for these and more. We depend solely on state government provisions. They are doing their best but it is usually not enough,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Osinachi Orji, said that the training was an eye-opener, because the knowledge garnered would be very important in their everyday activities: “We engage in regular sports activities here and do experience periodic emergencies, which, most times, we do not know how to handle them.
“However, I believe that, with the knowledge we have got today, we will be able to assist ourselves whenever the need arises.”
The school was presented with first aid kits to support the students while responding to emergencies.