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Published: November 30th 2009
On Thursday 26th November, me and Fred went to St Andrew’s International School to train 11 PE students, in the First Aid they needed for their course. This was the first time I had helped out with a First Aid course in Malawi and the start of any useful involvement I’ve had with the schools program. We had previously visited the school, as part of the schools program, trying to meet with the head of 6th form (unfortunately we missed him due to underestimating how long it would take to travel and arriving late to the appointment) and in a more successful meeting with the head of PE to set up the training.
We had hoped to be able to start the training early in the morning at 9am, as we had already been told this was the only day that was available (the schools term ends soon). However the students were still in class, so we had to begin in the afternoon and just squeeze as much of the vital first aid in as we could. This did give us time to prepare the equipment and materials we would need for the training, in the morning (I spent about half an hour ironing triangular bandages).
We arrived at the school just before 1pm and were taken to the English classroom that we were going to be using. We set up the tables, equipment and PowerPoint (using a loaned projector from St Andrews) just before the first students started to arrive. We had been told that the students had been trained in First Aid before and this should be a refresher course, but when we asked for a show of hands and gave a set of simple (ish) true/false questions out to completed we found that less than half had been trained before and even then the knowledge was patchy. This meant we had to revise our plan and run through everything very quickly rather than focus in on certain areas they needed help on. Between us we covered some of the basic lifesaving techniques like; casualty management, CPR, shock and fainting, choking, severe bleeding and bone and joint injuries (through maybe not in as much depth as they should have been).
The students were a typical bunch of year 12 and 13 students. They made jokes, messed around and were a laugh. They asked questions about the topics (some were even serious) and seemed enthusiastic about taking part, learning the skills, and getting involved in the practical parts. A couple even asked for the PowerPoint to take with them when we said we wouldn’t have time to finish (though this didn’t stop them all wanting to leave as soon as possible).
We would like to be able to come back and train more of the students for the schools program and to be able to have more time to do so. We spoke to the clubs coordinator and left one of the leaflets with more information and contact details, we are hopeful of a positive response and more links with St Andrew’s in the future.
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