.The group has observed the inability of many Ghanaians to offer help in medical emergencies as in the case of the Appiatse explosion.
A statement signed by Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, the Chairman of the Order of St John and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, said first Aid was a lifesaving response to an injured person or persons who had been taken ill suddenly.
It mentioned some of those lifesaving skills as the administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), haemorrhage control (how to control bleeding), immobilization (restricting the movement of a broken bone in the leg), and how to put casualties in the recovery position.
The statement said it had observed that many Ghanaians who got to accident scenes earlier, did not have adequate knowledge and skills to help the casualties, but rather take video and pictures of the accident scene.
It said the advocacy of the Health Minister, would help every member of the society to prepare for medical emergencies as and when it happens, whether in workplaces or communities.
They also called for the strict enforcement of section 28 of the Factories, Offices and Shops Act, 1970 (Act 328) which indicated that there should be first aider and first aid kits (box) in every factory, office, shop, among others.
Prof. Akosa, pleaded with the Health Minister to lead the advocacy and enforcement of first aid law, saying, “the consequences of an unprepared populace towards medical emergencies has a heavy toll on our health system”.
He said it was believed that people would be encouraged to get first aid training if they hear their Health Minister speak about it, and urged the Ministry of Health to seek sponsorship for the Emergency Medical Institutions in Ghana such as the St John Ambulance, the National Ambulance Service, and the Red Cross to train communities in accident-prone areas, to boost their capacities for such emergencies.
He further urged the Ministry of Health to collaborate with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to enforce all safety precautions in all establishments, especially first aid.
He also recommended that the MOH must persuade regulators such as Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, and the National Service Secretariat, to ensure that First Aid training and certification was made mandatory for drivers and job seekers.