Lifesavers hold refresher course, hope to start competitions

By Makhtum Muziransa

KAMPALA. The weeklong Life Savers clinic at Centenary Park, Kampala climaxes today with over 30 participants.
The last time Uganda held this clinic was in 2015 when 57 local lifeguards were awarded International Lifesavers Federation certificates after a weeklong clinic with the returning Kenyan facilitator Job Kania.
Given that new research ideas keep coming up in this field, these certificates usually last just over two years. Therefore for most of these lifeguards, the time was ripe for a refresher.

“This time around the target has been trainers of trainees (ToT); mostly Physical Education teachers, coaches and administrators from international schools because if we want to curb drowning around pools and water bodies all over the country then we need numbers,” Uganda Lifesavers Association (ULSA) public relations officer Allan Kizza, told Daily Monitor.

ULSA has been consistently taking their awareness activities around the country especially in Kalangala and Buikwe but more recently also had a training session with members of Uganda Swimming Coaches Associations (Usca) too. These coaches, if certified, will also make a strong base of ToTs. “The other reason we need ToTs is because we are also looking at training rookies; children under 14 years. The only way we can get to these young children is through the ToTs, who can in turn teach them on how to take care of themselves and their peers.”

The largely practical clinic involved simulation of rescue situations with equipment used by lifesavers, giving basic first aid, calling for help, administering CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and identifying problems like shock, drowning or spinal injuries.
There was also focus on body anatomy for the trainees to have a deeper understanding on how and why certain injuries occur and how they are handled.
ULSA also hopes to take part in future lifesaving competitions starting next year.

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