Published: 30th November 2019
After 10-yr-old dies of snake bite 80,603 students in Wayanad to be trained in Basic Life Support
Under the Aardra Vidyalayam project, students will be trained in basic first aid and healthcare in case of an emergency situation
Following the death of 10-year-old Shahala Sherin due to a snakebite in her own classroom, the District Collector of Wayanad, Adeela Abdulla, has worked with the National Health Mission, the Education Department, Aarogyakeralam, Aardram — a Kerala government initiative that aims at creating people-friendly health delivery systems — and various NGOs to introduce Aardra Vidyalayam, an initiative that aims to train 80,603 students from High School and Higher Secondary classes across the district in basic life support. The programme was inaugurated on November 28 with 160 students participating. Over the next few months, it will be introduced in all government schools in the district.
Dr B Abilash, Programme Manager of NHM Wayanad says, "After the incident, all the departments in the district were evaluated. They found crucial gaps within many of them. There was no convergence between the various important mechanisms of the government. The education department was fine on its own, but it lacked the ability to reach out to another department or perform the function that it needed to when a time of need came. There were many crucial elements that did not receive the attention that they needed."
He continues, "Health is an important component in everything. And with this incident, the fact that we do not have a mechanism in place to ensure its place in every department, was exposed. The teachers know nothing about First Aid. And because of this, they did not have the adequate knowledge or presence of mind to help out in that moment. And when the health department rescued the child they did not know what to do either."
The programme aims to train students in CPR, artificial respiration and other crucial actions that will be necessary during the time of an emergency. It falls under Safe Wayanad, an initiative that was established by the local self government under We For Wayanad following the floods of 2018 to equip the state to weather all disasters. It was introduced to promote health and safety across the district by training citizens on how to respond in case of an emergency or disaster.
200 master trainers will be identified from across the district to teach the children. They will be identified from across the health and education departments and from private hospitals. In total around 1,400 people will be master trainers and will assigned to various schools.
Kutti Doctors: The programme will also include 'kutti doctors' or medical cadets from across the schools. This is an older Wayanad Education Department programme under which students are chosen from classes 7,8 and 9 to get health training. There are over 1600 such students in the district currently. From them, over thousand students will be chosen through exams and they will also be given some additional basic life support training.
Health Teachers: In addition to this, one teacher each from every school will be designated as a health teacher by training them in basic first aid.
Health Corners: A space will be created where first aid boxes, stretchers, health brochures, etc will be made available for students. 7 different boards will be kept for basic guidelines on healthcare with the numbers to contact in case of an emergency. In each school, the space will be assigned to mothers who are a member of the PTA. They can overlook it from 10-3 pm and would be trained accordingly.
Buddy Doctor: Schools will work with retired doctors who will be attached to the programme. Their number will be made available to schools so health teachers can contact them at a time of emergency. They will provide basic advice and can visit the health corner once a month to check the stocking up of medicines and their expiry dates, etc.