A training workshop on pre-hospital emergency care and cardiovascular diseases was held to encourage timely intervention for individuals, who suffer cardiac arrests, in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region.
Dubbed the ‘The Basic Life Support’, the day’s event was organised by the Elijeko Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the National Ambulance Service (NAS), last Friday.
Participants, including members of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association; healthcare professionals, and students from the Garden City University College, were trained on how to deliver cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.
Founder of the foundation, Mr Andrews Nyantakyi, said the campaign was organised to save lives often lost to cardiac arrest due to the inability of bystanders to provide timely life-saving resuscitation.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 17.9 people die each year from Cardiovascular Diseases worldwide while Ghana recorded about 14,103 cardiac deaths in 2020.
Mr Nyantakyi said “We identified a gap in the health care approach in Ghana that is, being unable to handle emergencies and preventable deaths, so we partnered with the NAS to begin the workshop.
“We hope to use this program to create a platform to promote direct community engagement and equip Ghanaians with the knowledge of what, when, and how to respond to emergencies”.
He said since the foundation was established in 2016, it had rolled out preventive health education, medical outreach, and training programmes for more than 40,000 beneficiaries with plans to reach more in remote areas.
An Emergency Medicine Specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Kumasi, Dr Joseph Bonney, called for the enactment of a law for every public facility to have a first aid box and automated external defibrillator.
He advocated basic life support training for workers in public facilities while the government should incorporate cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid principles in the curriculum of basic schools.
The Director of Operations of the NAB, Dr Foster Ansong, appealed to the public to use emergency toll-free numbers for genuine emergencies.
“There were over 20 million emergency prank calls recorded in 2020 and 2022, and these prank calls made it difficult for people with genuine emergencies to access emergency services thereby affecting service response time,” he said.
The Country Representative of the Elijeko Foundation, Ms Celestina Kalor Abapiri, appealed to the public to volunteer blood to support the work of the National Blood Bank.