Taking first aid to the roads of Madagascar

Published: 29 October 2013 15:21 CET

By Mbola Ranaivomanana, Malagasy Red Cross Society

As part of activities to mark World First Aid Day, the Malagasy Red Cross Society and the National Agency for Transportation teamed up to raise awareness among truck and bus drivers on how to save lives on the road.

The theme for World First Day 2013 was first aid and road safety. For two days, 50 drivers received training in first aid that will give them skills to provide immediate aid in the event of a road accident or any other emergency, and will help prevent unnecessary loss of life.

“First aid is very helpful after a road accident. It is important to know what to do immediately,” said Haja, a first-aid trainer with the Malagasy Red Cross Society.

Road traffic accidents claim a significant number of lives in Madagascar. Even as the drivers were receiving their training in first aid, a collision in northern Madagascar killed 19 people and left several others injured.

“It is very important to introduce first aid at all stages of a person's life, including the workplace and at home,” said Claude Rakotondranja, President of the Malagasy Red Cross Society.

The activities culminated in celebrations during which members of the general public were encouraged to seek training in first aid and the importance of first aid in Madagascar was highlighted.  

Illustrating their new skills, a number of the truck and bus drivers demonstrated what they learned during the training.