PCPM instructors provide first aid training in Tanzania

Instructors from the PCPM Foundation and the Aga Khan Health Services Tanzania, with which the Polish organization cooperates, have already trained nearly 400 staff from hospitals and other services that are usually the first to arrive at accident scenes this year.

These data show how necessary first aid training is

The record of incidents and accidents shows how much such training and the presence of PCPM instructors on the ground are needed. On February 4 in the Mombo region, a minivan-truck collision killed 17 people. A week later, in Kongwa in the Dodoma region, 12 people were killed in an accident and another 63 were injured. Unfortunately, this type of news appears frequently in the Tanzanian media. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data published in 2020, the number of road fatalities in Tanzania (63 million population) was more than 18,000, more than 6 percent of all deaths in the country. In comparison, in Poland (38 million population), nearly 1,900 people died on the roads in 2022.

Tragedies on the road in which young people die

– Tanzania is the 10th country in the world in terms of the number of road accident victims, emphasizes Dr. Wojtek Wilk, president of the Polish Center for International Aid Foundation.

That’s why in Tanzania the PCPM Foundation is focusing on supporting the emergency medicine sector in the region of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, and Mwanza. The Polish organization supplies equipment to the emergency medical system, but most importantly conducts numerous trainings to improve the efficiency and quality of rescue operations.

As Dr. Wojtek Wilk points out, the profession of paramedic in Tanzania is very “fresh”. – Thanks to our project, we will be able to develop this field of medicine. This will not only have a positive impact on safety, but also create jobs. Many new incoming investors require adequate medical security for their employees, and thanks to the PCPM Foundation this will be possible,” stresses the president of the Polish organization.

First on the scene of an accident, give victims a chance to survive

The project has already held a number of training courses in various fields of emergency medicine and instructor training. In late March and early April, PCPM instructors from Kenya and Aga Khan trainers from Tanzania conducted courses for more than 320 people. – We adopted such a methodology that instructors work in combined teams so that they can learn from each other together,” explains Aleksandra Mizerska, PCPM project coordinator in Tanzania.

– Doctors from the Aga Khan Health Services Tanzania are learning from Kenyan firefighters how to evacuate the injured, how to pull them out of a car or bus after a road accident. This is not purely medical knowledge, and here the experience of the Kenyan firefighters, who after all have been learning for many years from Polish instructors, comes in very handy,” adds the project coordinator.

– This program is an example of cooperation on various projects financed from the same source – Polish aid. The instructors from Kenya, who were previously trained by the PCPM Foundation and acquired skills thanks to us, can pass this knowledge on. Thanks to our previous programs and experience in Kenya, we have now been able to start a project in Tanzania,” points out Adam Kuklinski, from the Polish organization’s project implementation and execution team.

One of the groups that took part in the training are Tanzanian scouts. Amina Maulid, who is one of the scout leaders from Dar as Saalam is taking part in first aid training for the second time. – This type of training is very rare and much needed for scouts, she comments. – We help in various situations like fire and flood. Often, scouts are the first on the scene. That’s why first aid training is so important for us, because we can help our community,” Amina concludes.

As Aleksandra Mizerska, coordinator of the project from the Polish Center for International Aid Foundation, points out, the effect of training by Polish instructors is already visible. – Those who took part in the training sessions filled out a questionnaire on first aid knowledge before the training began. According to this questionnaire, after the entire training session their knowledge increased,” Mizerska stressed.

The PCPM Foundation is also training future instructors in Tanzania. As part of the project at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, a state-of-the-art training center for future paramedics, doctors, nurses will also be built and equipped.

The Polish International Aid Center project is being implemented in cooperation with the Aga Khan Health Services Tanzania and the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, and is financed by Polish aid funds from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.