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By Chukwudi Nwauba

Awka, Dec. 9, 2020 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala says handling of health emergency cases is everyone’s business.

Dr Okpala said this while declaring open a 3-Day training of health workers, stakeholders on basic life support skills in Awka.

Dr. Vincent Okpalla

Health officers, stakeholders were being trained on basic life support skills and handling of cardiac emergency situations.

The commissioner noted that the training provided a great opportunity for the state healthcare system that would help to increase the survival of persons experiencing cardiac arrest.

He emphasised on the importance of basic life support skills; stressing that ignorance of such had led to death of persons experiencing cardiac arrest as their rate of survival reduced by 10 per cent.

“Emergencies do not choose their time and victim; if we delay, something else can happen. This is not just a hospital-based thing; it is for everyone in the society.

“We need to know basic life support skills in emergency cases as community members and as well everyone should have a basic knowledge of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) system.

Automated External Defibrillator is a lightweight, portable, computerized device that can identify an abnormal heart rhythm that needs a shock.

“Anybody in the community can help save a life as we do not know who the next victim will be,’’ he said.

“The AED can then deliver a shock that stop the abnormal rhythm and allow the heart’s normal rhythm to return, simple to operate. They allow laypersons and healthcare providers to attempt defibrillation safely.  

“Defibrillation is the medical term for interrupting or stopping an abnormal heart rhythm by using controlled electrical shocks.

“The shock stops the abnormal rhythm. This resets the heart’s electrical system so a normal organised heart rhythm can return.

“If effective circulation returns, victim’s heart muscle is once again able to pump blood. The victim will have a heartbeat that produces a palpable pulse that can be felt by the rescuer,’’ he said.

According to him, early defibrillation increases the chance of survival from cardiac arrest caused by an abnormal or irregular heart rhythm.

The commissioner commended the State Government for its support and dedication in building the health system of the state.

He expressed optimism that the healthcare system of the state would get to an enviable position with recent developments and health innovations sponsored by Gov. Obiano administration.

“Anambra is the first state in Nigeria to organise this kind of training on health emergencies. We need infrastructure and capacity for things to happen and we are gradually getting them.

“Those we have trained will go back to their community and train others; we are gradually setting the foundation for excellent medical care in the state.’’

Dr Okpala, then, urged the participants to take the training seriously and apply the knowledge garnered to help humanity.

Dr Tochukwu Osuoji, a facilitator from Code Red Emergency Medical Services, said that the training was purely on emergencies and participants would be expected to know basic things in emergency situations.

“Code Red Emergency Medical Services is a private organisation established in 2011 with the vision to improve the state of emergency care in Sub-Saharan Africa.’’

He explained that they provide strategic consultation and training to individuals, health institutions and corporate bodies on issues relating to Emergency Healthcare systems and others. (MOI) 
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