Minister of Health, Mr. Donville Innis, speaking to some of the attendees of the recently concluded Regional Conference of St. John Ambulance Associations of the??Caribbean. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

Learning First Aid ought to be the civic responsibility of every citizen.

This assertion was made by the Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, as he addressed the dinner held for the St. John Ambulance Associations of the Caribbean last week.

Speaking on the topic of Familiarity with First Aid, Mr. Inniss stated, "First Aid training provides more than the knowledge and skills to effectively respond; it also provides the confidence to act when needed". He added that even the layman must be trained in first aid because it is effective in saving lives, while minimising the consequences of a road crash or heart attack.

Drawing attention to the increase in vehicular accidents as a major cause of preventable deaths in Barbados, the Health Minister noted, "Given the number of deaths, there is potential for improving survival rates at least amongst the 50 per cent of accident victims who survive the initial impact, if first aid is given in the early stages."

He further added that, "Alongside the important saving of lives, first aid training would also reduce visits to overstretched accident and emergency departments by people whose injuries did not warrant hospital attention, and likewise reduce visits to doctors’ offices if a qualified first-aider could more easily and more quickly deal with some minor matters at home or at their place of work".


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