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Health Ministry Moves to Revive First Aid Syllabus for Schools

Practical first aid lessons were previously part of the physical education in schools, through which learners were taught different aspects of first aid like how to treat cuts, burns, fainting, and fractures, among others. However, the lessons were gradually wiped off the primary curriculum as schools started concentrating more on academic performance and less on co-curricular activities.
28 Jul 2021 22:07

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The Ministry of Health is moving to revive practical first aid lessons in schools for pre-primary and primary school learners.


Practical first aid lessons were previously part of the physical education in schools, through which learners were taught different aspects of first aid like how to treat cuts, burns, fainting, and fractures, among others. However, the lessons were gradually wiped off the primary curriculum as schools started concentrating more on academic performance and less on co-curricular activities.


In many schools, only the theoretical part of first aid continues to be taught. Now the health ministry wants to revive practical lessons with the aim of equipping learners with practical skills on how they can handle emergencies. According to the department of emergency services at the health ministry, the syllabus will back up theoretical first aid topics that are currently being taught in school right from primary one to seven.

As part of the curriculum, learners will be taught different aspects of first aid depending on the class that they are in. For instance, learners in early childhood development will be taught how to identify physical injuries and call for help from adults while pupils between primary one and four will be taught how to give first aid for simple cuts.

Learners in the upper primary will be taught how to help persons who have fainted, nose bleeding, persons with burns, deep cuts and those who have drowned. Dr John Baptist Wanyiaye, the commissioner in charge of emergency services at the Ministry of Health says the syllabus is supposed to develop first responders in the community.

The commissioner says more people will be able to receive first aid in emergencies if the curriculum is implemented which will lead to more lives being saved.

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Currently, learners who are able to give some sort of first aid are either in the scout or girl guide movement. Steven Kalema, a member of the Uganda Scouts Secretariat says that the revival of the classes will help give learners countrywide an additional skill they currently do not possess.

"Right now even under the scouts association, we are not able to offer the right kind of training for all pupils. Government offering lessons to learners would help bridge the already existing gap. More children in class will be able to offer first aid even if they are not members of the movement," he said.

A 2014 report released by the Recent reports made Uganda Red Cross Society estimates that no more than three per cent of Uganda’s population possess first aid skills.