Last week Friday, (August 3), for a day only, 25 journalists from different news organization had the coveted opportunity to take part in a Basic First Aid training course managed by MRI Botswana Limited. The primary objective of the session was to empower the media with the basic but vital knowledge of first aid techniques that can be used by a first responder at an accident scene, during medical emergencies. The second priority, of course, was to raise the profile and awareness of the importance of first aid training in the country through MRI Botswana, amongst its esteemed members of the Forth Estate (The Media) and encourage others to get themselves trained.
“We simply seek to empower the media fraternity on the importance of these skills for the benefit of the nation at large”.
Furthermore, the media training and engagement session accorded the local scribes an opportunity to get acquainted with MRI Botswana, introduce the new Acting Managing Director, Dr. Lorato Mangadi, as well as familiarize local journalists with the various health care and contact centre services such as 24hr Emergency medical services, 24hr On-Site Medical Services, 24-Hours Call Centre, First Aid, Basic Fire and health care professional Training and 24hr Prime Health Pharmacy, Prime Health Medical Centres and medical equipment supplies.
Among the many topics covered in these sessions included the principles of emergency care, the chain of survival, patient assessment and management, how to make an emergency call and the vital information required during such a call, as well as how to deal with soft tissue injuries, shock, burns, fractures and many more.
MRI Botswana Acting Managing Director, Dr. Lorato Mangadi, who has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry said, “We are aware that first aid is very helpful during a time of emergency, therefore it is important to know what to do, especially for the work you perform which in many cases will put you in places where risk of injury is high.”
MRI Botswana, situated in Block 7, Gaborone has been providing emergency medical services in Botswana since 1992, “and through all our years of operation, we believe in the importance of basic first aid training for the general public as their contribution towards saving the lives of people in the country. Through our engagement with the media we aim to empower the media team so as to empower the nation at large as the media plays a vital role in ensuring that the public is informed of key issues that affect the country. All our training is focused on the individuals attending the course and their likely working environment. We ensure that the training reflects the needs of the delegates and the first aid equipment they will have access to or not as the case may be. Our training is well known for its practical nature and is known to make reference to key cases that the medical rescue team responds to on a daily basis across the country.” added Dr. Mangadi.
Based on statistics from research, MRI Botswana said the most rampant and common causes of accidents, be it home, office or on our roads seem to be Road traffic accidents.
“These are the highest form of accidents and it’s quite unfortunate that is so because this is largely caused by human behaviour such as abuse of alcohol, road rage, fatigue and simply not obeying road signs. If we as a society can start by changing our behaviour on the road, we are likely to significantly see the number of road accidents reducing. One major cause of accidents that is not noticed or taken as seriously as it should be are accidents that happen within work/office. Issues relating to occupational hazards, ensuring the right cabling is done for example, and ensuring that your team within the office is trained in first aid and fire awareness is essential.”
Furthermore, MRI Botswana alluded that, “The most common accidents that occur at home include drownings, fires and general accidents that involve common household maintenance. The public needs to ensure that they are aware of their environment and its needs, for example if you are living with a family member who has a medical condition, it is absolutely important to make sure that you understand the medical condition in detail, you need to understand what sort medical emergencies can occur with a patient that suffers from such an illness and most importantly how you can assist should that emergency occur. We all need to appreciate that we are all capable of saving lives, provided we are empowered and knowledgeable as to how to”.
The company has for many years carried out a campaign known as CPR in schools, where members of the MRI medical team visits schools to teach both the students and the teachers the basics of CPR.
“The words ‘CPR’ is an abbreviation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which is a medical technique for reviving someone whose heart has stopped beating by pressing on their chest and breathing into their mouth. The technique is an essential live saving tool that can be performed by any trained individual. We also carry out member education sessions around the country where we present our products and services.”
The company says it is in the process of producing a training schedule booklet that will entail courses scheduled for the next six months, which will ensure that our clients both corporates and individuals are able to plan ahead and budget for their training.
“On a weekly basis we provide scheduled training courses on our MRI Botswana Facebook page, and clients are able to access the schedule by visiting the MRI Botswana Office in Gaborone, Block 7 or by simply email email@example.com.”
MRI Botswana Limited Sales and Marketing Manager, Lesire Sebowe said, “This idea was born from the recognition that the media is an important stakeholder who may be the first on the scene in an accident or other emergency. We also hope that some of you will join us as volunteers and put what you have learned into practice.”
Sebowe added that it is absolutely vital for MRI as an organisation to have a stern relationship with the media.
“As a healthcare service provider we find ourselves limited in terms of advertising and marketing due to restrictions that come with operating within the healthcare space. Therefore, we rely on the media, our corporate social responsibility activities and sponsorships of various events that relate to MRI and its services for coverage and information dissemination. Positive news coverage offers higher credibility and through our relations with the media we are certain we will be able to work together to share this important information to the public.”
Furthermore, Sebowe noted that from September MRI will be running competitions on radio and print media where members of the public will get an opportunity to win first aid training level one by answering a few simple questions.
“The company continues to offer CPR demonstrations and member education sessions that can be arranged by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The training department also produces ‘CPR How To’ posters that are available for free at the MRI Botswana head office in Block 7, the posters illustrates how to perform CPR and can be placed in home or offices for ease of reference.”