Click on Image for Photo Gallery
Gita Basnet, Principal of Shree Bakhapalam, checking for vital signs
- Bimal Kumar Rai recalled his experience on how he could help one of the injured people in his village that had broken his leg, falling from the tree. The splinting technique he had learnt from the training had helped him provide better First Aid to the victim before he was taken to the hospital.
- Guna Raj Gautam, the principal from Sotang Lower Secondary shared his experience of organizing a class on First Aid to his students from senior grades.
First Aid Refresher Training 2016
Organized by: Classrooms in the Clouds
Date: 13th September 2016
Venue: Shree Bakhapalam Secondary School
Participating School’s Number: 11
Number of Participants: 26
Reported By: Samden Sherpa
The number of victims in Nepal earthquake exposed the vulnerability of Nepali community against any probable natural disaster and the severity of insufficient paramedical personnel in the country required in time of immediate rescue and relief operations. More than 8700 individuals lost lives and 2000 thousand were wounded. Ministry of Health and Population had reported that more than 1085 health facilities were damaged among which the majority were the primary health care centers, village health posts and birthing centers. It’s predicated the incapacity of the country to provide immediate rescue and paramedics to the severely injured during the disaster had caused 20% of the total death and many of the victims in the remote and rural areas were compelled to try the local and traditional remedies in lack of medicines and health facilities. The situation reflected on the significance of locally working organization like Classrooms in the Clouds to train and aware communities at local level to prepare communities ready and responsible to face similar or any disaster prone situation that could arise any time any where.
The communities that Classrooms in the Clouds works with are mostly in remote and rural part of Solukhumbu and Dolkha. In some of the places, villagers have to walk for 2-4 hours to access the nearest health facilities. Lack of education and knowledge of modern medical services induce people to yet try the ancient medial remedies and follow the witch doctors for treatment. Every year there are cases of many deaths due to unavailable timely medical treatments and people’s false belief over the traditional medical practice like dhami and jhakris. Even, the schools in the communities aren’t well facilitated with basic health services like first aid service, menstrual health management for girls and other health related basic capacity required at school. Also, none of the education program of Ministry of Education prioritizes on training the teachers on First Aid or other primary health care awareness at school level trainings. In such state, the Classrooms in the Clouds organized First Aid Training was dedicated to aware the teachers on scientific approaches and practice of First Aid, saving lives through proper first aid service, controlling any medical situation from worsening in times of any accidents, natural disasters or similar situation arising in a school environment and the community, and to develop local capacity as a First Aiders to benefit the community in time of any medical emergencies.
The teachers in the community had very well received the First Aid Training. More than 70 teachers from 15 different schools in the Lower Solukhumbu benefited from the training. The training had covered themes like, health and school environment, food and nutrition for better education, preventing and curing basic causes of diarrhea and vomiting, First aid and its principle, prevention and hygiene, practical lab vital signs and assessment, treating cuts, wounds, bleeding, musculo-skeletal injuries, moving patient, treating burns, choking, snake and insects bites and women health.
Some of the teachers had read or heard about the First Aid treatment system and had also practiced it but had never had opportunities to practice and learn them so, they weren’t sure of the practices they were carrying on. Bijaya Kumar Nachhiring, one of the teachers shared that the training was very effective for correcting the false practices they were carrying on. He said before the training, they usually hit on the neck region of the spinal cord thinking that a choking person would spit out the food or item that was stuck in the windpipe. They realized how dangerous the method was after learning the correct technique. Bhagwati Raut shares her experience how women had always had difficulties dealing with their health issues at school where majority of the teachers were male and appreciated the training team for including the topic women’s health during the training. She felt the male teachers would show more concern and respect to women health issues after receiving the training. Mani Kumar Rai, one of the CitC sponsored teacher shared he was very delighted to have received the training as the training didn’t only empower him with the skills to be a first aider but he could also enhance his skills by facilitating one of the trainings at another schools.
One year post the training, Classrooms in the Clouds organized the Refresher Training at Shree Bakhapalam Secondary School in Sotang. Participants from 11 schools of Solukhumbu participated in the training program. Teachers had walked for 3 days to participate at the training from schools like, Himalayan English Boarding School and Lukla Lower Secondary School. Few of the teachers were new although only the previous participants were called. They shared they had been provided the opportunity in absence of the teachers who had previously attended the training and were very excited to learn about First Aid in spite it was only a refresher training.
On the way to Solukhumbu, the trainers’ team, including Samden Sherpa and Nurse Liza Nargakoti, noticed more than 20 landslides. Some of them were so big that it had obstructed the highway and vehicles were stranded for hours at many points. The news on the injuries and death caused by the landslides all over the hilly region was constantly played by the radio. We could notice people transporting the sick people on stretcher and doko where no vehicles could move. The need of the Training was really highlighted by those scenes of the monsoon. And when the training team reached the training site, we could notice the building construction work going on, in the school ground. The construction work on the site exposed the children to the risk of accidents and injuries as the rocks, and debris from the work site were all over the ground. This reflected the need of proper orientation and training on better and safe school environment and the First Aid Training.
The Refresher training was focused on bringing back the key points from the previous training and revisiting the practical exercises on First Aid to ensure the participants were up to date and correct on the First Aid services and training they provided in their schools and communities. The trainees were learning the principle and practices of First Aid in-group and individual. They could revise the very necessary components of First Aid like, properly assessing the victims for injuries, dealing with unconscious patient, respiratory problems, choking, cuts, wounds and bleeding, treating head and spinal injuries, fractures and sprains and transporting patients. During the training, the participants demonstrated their abilities on above topics, the trainers corrected any error and mal-practices demonstrated by the trainees, and the trainees also had visual rounds to check their methods, learning and reapply the proper ways.
During the training the participants also reflected on how the training had contributed to them at personal and community level. The principal of Shree Bakhapalam reported that previously only one or two teacher could help students who were injured and required First Aid, it was difficult at times when there were cases of injuries and the responsible teacher was not present at school, but since the First Aid training, every teachers have the capacity to provide first aid service. Students have fast access to First Aid Service at school with the First Aid Material provided along with the training. Sometimes, even the community members approach the school for first aid service. Bimal Kumar Rai recalled his experience on how he could help one of the injured people in his village that had broken his leg, falling from the tree. The splinting technique he had learnt from the training had helped him provide better First Aid to the victim before he was taken to the hospital. Guna Raj Gautam, the principal from Sotang Lower Secondary shared his experience of organizing a class on First Aid to his students from senior grades.
Many of the participants reflected the training wass very important for the communities where the health-post and health services were difficult to access. The participants concluded that the training could be improved by including more participants from other schools; increase the training duration, as one day wasn’t enough to revisit all the topics. Some of the teachers shared their willingness to participate in the upcoming training could be boosted with stipend for their lunch and transportation as they had to pay their expenses for the participation on their own. The school principal’s did reflect that despite their willingness they had had very few opportunities to conduct the training among their students on regular basis, so they would look forward to train the students in child club and other responsible positions in school leadership board to make sure the knowledge was passed on to the children and their communities.
Overall, the training was well participated by the trainees. Excitingly, more schools than assumed number participated in the training. The participants could practice most of the contents in spite of the limited time. Most of the teachers had carried on their previous learning and demonstrated their skills. The female participants were showing their leadership to lead the demonstrations and encourage the male members to join them. The teachers had the excitement to carry on the proper First Aid practice in the school and community and possessed the zeal to learn more advanced First Aid Method and Topics in the upcoming trainings.
Samden Sherpa Education Development Officer