In March 2005, instructors from Israel's Magen David Adom qualified 16 volunteers in the Uganda Red Cross as first aid as well as basic and advanced level resuscitation instructors. These Ugandan instructors will in the future teach advanced studies to the other volunteers and in communities in Uganda.
The project was part of the collaboration between MDA in Israel and the Uganda Red Cross Society, and is intended to increase first aid capabilities within the country. It also will serve as a basis for further projects which will improve the urgent first aid services offered to the Uganda population.
The Uganda Red Cross Society and MDA have prepared a multi-annual collaboration plan, which focuses on a number of principal issues: training first aid instructors for the Uganda Red Cross and setting up a training center; an EMT (ambulance drivers) course; blood donation drives; training Uganda Red Cross volunteer youth in multi-casualty incident management.
After the first phase of the plan to qualify the first aid instructors was completed, a formal ceremony was held in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, with the participation of the Uganda Minister of Health, the Chairman of the Uganda Red Cross, the Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross, Israel's Ambassador to Kenya, the Chairman of MDA's Executive Committee and the members of the Israeli delegation.
The first aid instructor's course was taught by three paramedic instructors from MDA's Medical Division, headed by the Director of the Training Department. The course lasted ten days, with a total of 100 hours of study.
Thanks to the assistance of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the International Red Cross, MDA was able to extend aid in the form of new and advanced training equipment for the qualifying course and continued use by the future training center. This equipment included a wide range of resuscitation mannequins (adult, children and infant), canulation and birthing exercise mannequins, resuscitation equipment and masks, first aid packs, backboards, head immobilizers and an automatic external defibrillator.
Dr. Noam Yifrach, Chairman of MDA's Executive Committee, noted that the Uganda Red Cross expressed its immense gratitude for MDA's presence in Uganda, and that they have every intention to maintain the good ambience and unique friendship created by the two societies in order to advance further projects in Uganda. Dr. Yifrach added: "I believe that our contribution in training the instructors will in the future generate upgraded first aid services offered by the Uganda Red Cross for the welfare of the citizens, and will certainly enhance the tight and friendly relations between both countries in various and diverse subjects."
Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs