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By Adaora Ude Health they say is wealth! Awareness is the beginning of wisdom and so a little bit of it in every circumstance would go a long way. Sometime ago in my prayer group, a member shared a sad experience that had all 30 of us sad and, hopefully, got us all thinking as well. A boy of about 10 years old (let’s call him Josh) in a primary school in Magodo was having fun and being a child with his schoolmates in the outdoors as it was March, the month when most schools in Nigeria have their inter–house sports competition. It all started as fun and games and Josh had just run a race, AND WON! Imagine his excitement as he hopped off with his mates amidst cheers and admiration. He probably couldn’t wait to tell mum and dad all about it at the end of the day. Alas, something went wrong. Terribly wrong, because the next thing his friends knew, Josh was clutching at his chest in pain, and slumped. Guess what followed? Pandemonium; which I understand is the first reaction. But then, the teachers – I’d like to call them “child minders” – ran around frantically like headless chickens, clueless as to what to do. They most likely panicked more than the kids. They had no idea how to help Josh, and the 10-year old didn’t make it. He died before he got to a hospital. Perhaps if the teachers had possessed a bit of knowledge on first aid, they might have known what to do and that little boy might have had a chance at survival. Maybe they tried their best. Maybe there was a nurse on hand; maybe the minders rushed him to the sick bay as quickly as they could. We can only speculate, but let us consider a different scenario. What if they didn’t do all that? What if they didn’t even have a resident nurse or a sick bay or clinic for that matter? What if they clustered all around the poor boy and further cut off air supply around him? I asked a number of questions;
  • Where was their school clinic/sick bay located?
  • Was there even a sick bay?
  • Where was the resident nurse/doctor/medical personnel?
  • Was there even a resident nurse/doctor/ medical personnel?
  • Where was the Physical & Health Education teacher? I’d like to think the school had one.
  • How come none of the teachers present who mind these children daily had basic knowledge of first aid or CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)?
  • Did anyone conduct a physical examination before letting the kids participate in the games?
  • Did they know students with health concerns who were not allowed to participate in active sports?
Every person should know how to perform simple CPR. The average person in a developed country knows basic CPR and it wouldn’t hurt if people here did as well. I did a little research myself, and here is what I learnt: – In administering CPR), make sure the clothing of the victim isn’t making him uncomfortable. – Get victim in a comfortable position and, tilting the head back so the tongue is rolled back and not in the way, apply 15 massages to the heart (located beneath the left breast) and then 2 short breaths into the mouth or 4 massages to the heart and 1 short breath into victim’s mouth until circulation to the heart is restored. Following this, professional medical care is important. The value of human life in this country has become so worthless and unless we take an interest in preserving our lives and that of our fellow humans, then we truly disrespect the God who gave us that life in the first place. I don’t mean valuing a life because it is your relative’s or friend’s but just because it is what it is; A LIFE. Let’s all be prepared to save the next Josh we might come across if need be.  

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This article was first published on 27th November 2013 and updated on December 2nd, 2013 at 8:46 pm

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