People in need of emergency medical services can now call a 24-hour toll-free number to seek first aid and transport services from the Somali Red Crescent (SRCS).
The new number aims to enhance the quality and efficiency of emergency services in Mogadishu. During emergencies, readiness and swift response to care for the wounded and sick often makes the difference between life and death. The SRCS first aid team is on standby to assist people and their community with first aid and ambulance services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“The ambulance service is free, and it is led by SRCS volunteers. The goal is saving lives. It’s part of the humanitarian work of the SRCS. The number connects the community to the first aid emergency responders – the first aid caregivers, the dispatcher and the team leader,” says Nur Abdikarim Ali, first aid focal point at the SRCS Mogadishu branch.
This year, the first aid team adjusted their working methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect its members from the virus. Constant care and precautionary measures such as the use of personal preventive equipment (PPE) and the proper sanitizing of ambulances has been put in place. Information is requested from patients to find out if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, so any suspected cases can be transported safely to the hospital.
To mark the World First Aid Day 2020, the SRCS organized first aid trainings in communities, and for SRCS staff, volunteers and trainers. These trainings, which the SRCS carries out nationwide all year long, equip the trainees with basic first aid knowledge and skills that prevent injuries and sickness from worsening until medical assistance is available.
This International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the SRCS have responded to a total of 170 emergency incidents in the country this year. More than 400 people benefited from first aid training in communities.