As part of efforts to equip teachers and students with the basic knowledge to tackle medical emergencies and to ensure safety in schools, Cornerstone Insurance has recently launched its corporate social responsibility initiatives ‘Safe Routes to School’ and ‘Basic Life Support (BLS) and Basic First Aid Training.’ The Safe Routes to School involves the provision of safety infrastructure along accident-prone school routes and the establishment of safety clubs in schools where students are taught preventive basic safety tips with the support of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), while the BLS and Basic First Aid Training is aimed at equipping students and teachers with basic life support and first aid techniques for emergencies such as unconsciousness, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), choking while eating, among others.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative at Fountain Heights Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, the Head, Brand Management, Cornerstone, Mr. Ademola Mafikuyomi, said the company decided to save the lives of children because they are like the most helpless in the society and are mostly at risk as a result of their youthful exuberance. He said the safe routes to school is about creating a haven from home to school; sensitise the students and rouse their consciousness with respect to safety.
He added that the aim is to protect the future. “Our future is embedded in the children so if we don’t train them now to save their lives, then our future is mortgaged.” Mafikuyomi said the company intends to reach out to schools in the six education districts in state by the end of the year, adding there would be books and other printed materials that the students could make reference to so as to sustain the knowledge they have received and to enable them imbibe the right attitude.
The Director, Golden Hour Medics Limited, Dr. Ugochukwu Echendu, who delivered the BLS and basic first aid training, taught the students through demonstrations and audio visuals, how to give CPR to unconscious adults and children, including infants; what to do during choking while eating, sudden seizures, ingestion of poisonous or toxic substances, dislocation and fractures, bleeding from cuts and stabs, animal bites and stings, drowning, among others. Speaking with THISDAY, Echendu every disclosed that people die every day in Nigeria as a result of medical emergencies and children die in schools for the same reason and since there is no record of such occurrences, they are overlooked.
Hence he said the company tries to encourage as many parents, teachers and students as possible to be trained so that they can manage medical emergencies when they happen because they don’t give any warning sign before occurring. He stressed that it is important for everyone to know how to give first aid to someone that is unconscious and not breathing because something must be within five to eight minutes otherwise the person’s brain will go into irreversible damage. “The essence of the training is to equip everyone both teachers and students to keep the person alive in case of emergency till they get to the hospital.”
He said the firm has trained a couple of schools in Lagos State; the Federal Fire Service; bank staff on medical emergencies, and has embarked on series of sensitisation progammes in rural areas. Responding, the Vice-Principal of the school, Mrs. Nneka Osisiogu, thanked the company for the opportunity provided for the staff and students to acquire such knowledge, and expressed delight that the school was the pilot school for the initiative, Though the staff and students have attended series of trainings in the past, she said the recent training involved all the students and teachers, including non-teaching staff. “This training will go a long way in the lives of the students because no matter the profession the students are pursuing, this is a training that everyone requires in the school and the society.”