BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
GOVERNMENT has pleaded with the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) to expand its first aid programmes to include marginalised communities to save lives during natural disasters.
“Red Cross increase your visibility in communities. Let’s see you in schools. Let’s see you in communities training these people first aid,” Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima said during a first aid breakfast meeting hosted by ZRCS yesterday.
“Let’s have a critical mass of people trained in first aid. Once you have done that, government will chip in and assist; corporates will also come in and help.”
Calling on every Zimbabwean to have basic knowledge in first aid, he added: “While first aid is important for everyone, it is even more important for the workplace as our valuable (human resources) are exposed to many dangers in their routine operations.”
ZRCS secretary-general Elias Hwenga also pointed out that companies must invest in first aid training for their workforce.
“Every worker is recommended to be trained in these lifesaving skills. At times, some employers think investing in first aid training is a waste of resources, hence when disaster occurs they tend to lose lives and in most cases their skilled and experienced workers due to lack of basic lifesaving skills and knowledge,” Hwenga said.
National Social Security Authority principal occupational safety and health promotions officer, Thembekile Dumbu said it was a legal requirement for companies to have first aid facilities.
“Every organisation according to law should have a first aid facility. The provision of first aid facilities is also a legal requirement: section 10 of the Factories and Works (General) Regulations RGN No 263 of 1976,” Dumbu said.
ZRCS is among a handful of organisations that offer first aid training in Zimbabwe.