Sudden Deaths: Experts Call On Govts To Incorporate First Responder Course In Schools

Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting

NIGERIAN government, at all levels, have been called upon to incorporate first responder course in primary, secondary and tertiary academic curricular to stem the growing trend of sudden deaths orchestrated by cardiac arrest and heart attack.

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Health Instructor from the American Heart Association, Clement Ovili, accompanied by his Assistant Instructor, Robert Ikechukwu, made the call as resource persons on Sunday May 14 at a training workshop in Warri, Delta State.

The event featured health discussions and training on Heart Saver First Aid, Trauma Management, Medical Emergency Management, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the usage of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) during emergencies.

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Trainees at work

Over 100 trainees, drawn across children, youths and adults irrespective of gender, were trained at the event held at the instance of the Redeemer Men’s Fellowship (RMF) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Shekinah Mega Parish, Warri.

Speaking at the sidelines after the intensive training, which lasted over three hours under the leadership of the Provincial Pastor and the RMF president, Pastor Ezekiel Olukahunsi and Mr Oze Chukwudi, Mr Ovili said training in first responder course was long overdue in the country’s academic curricular.

“It’s a long awaited idea. The Federal Government needs to come out with a policy to ensure that children, both in primary, secondary and even tertiary institutions, are trained in first responders course.

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Trainees at work

“Not only that, other professionals are supposed to have the basic trainings. It’s an area that shouldn’t be neglected, reason being that more than 70 per cent of cases we have in the hospitals is as a result of failure of first responders’ duties.

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American Heart Association instructor, Clement Ovili, demonstrating first aide on a choking baby being assisted by Mr Oze Chukwudi

“When I mean first responders, I mean knowledgeable first responders that can assist in the case of any life-threatening ailment.

“If we have them trained, you find that a lot of cases going into the hospitals, whether in rural areas or in the cities and towns, will be reduced.

“So that is what should be done and it should be encouraged, and made a policy like we have in the US and Europe, ” he opined.

While appealing to policy makers to hasten policies in this regard, he, however, said the policies to make the trainings compulsory shouldn’t be left for the government alone, saying private companies and organisations should add their inputs.

Ovili, who expressed satisfaction at the Warri training, urged families, private schools, communities to organise such training for their members to save souls during accidents, rather than the culture of gathering around accident victims to take selfies and videos.


“For every five persons, a minimal of three persons should be trained and if we attain that level, then we are really set for rescue and help ourselves. The more people are trained, the better,” he enthused.

One of the trainees, Mr Paul Tusemone, who expressed delight at the training, commended Mr Chukwudi and his executive for the health training, saying: It’s a nice one. Personally, I gained a lot.”

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