First aid skills by first responders vital in reducing road accident deaths

Passers-by trying to remove passengers from the Ongata Rongai matatu that overturned on Lang'ata road on September 25, 2016.

ack of proper first aid skills among people who respond first to road accidents contributes to more than 57 per cent of the deaths of victims.

According to a report by St John Ambulance, the responders, with good intentions, arrive at the scene on time but end up compounding the victims’ conditions through mishandling or administering of wrong first aid procedures.

A report by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicates that in the first half of 2016, 1,574 deaths were reported on Kenyan roads.

St John Ambulance Communications Manager Fred Majiwa said some of the deaths could be prevented if a big percentage of the public had basic first aid skills.

Mr Majiwa was speaking during a first aid and safe driving training involving 318 matatu drivers from Nakuru County.


“To curb these road deaths, it is important that the first person on the scene of a road accident, who will most likely be another driver, has the skills to keep someone alive before an ambulances arrives,” he said.

The training, held at Hotel Kunste, was organised by St John Ambulance and the Automobile Association of Kenya in a bid to cut down the rising cases of fatal road accidents.

The campaign provided an opportunity for St John Ambulance to pilot the new first aid programme targeting motorists as envisaged in the new drivers’ training curriculum released by the NTSA.

“The training programme covers the entire syllabus that St John Ambulance expects every driver to go through in a bid to turn all motorists into lifesavers,” Mr Majiwa said.

He noted that Nakuru had recorded the highest number of drivers trained in first aid skills.

“So far Nakuru has recorded the highest number of motorists [trained]. The exercise started in Nairobi in June, where 166 drivers were trained and subsequently in Mombasa where 167 drivers benefited from the course,” he said.

New drivers will have to undergo a seven-hour first aid course before getting their driving licenses, according to the NTSA’s new driver-training curriculum.

Source : Daily Nation

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