Add first aid to basic education curriculum

Mr Kwame Apedzi, the Executive Director, St John Ambulance, Ghana (SJAG), has appealed to the Ministry of Education to include Emergency Medical Service (EMS) or first aid education in the syllable at the basic school level.

He said when people were educated from their formative stages on simple life saving interventions such as how to give Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), how to stop

bleeding, what to do when one faints or chokes, it would go a long way to help alleviate avoidable deaths.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, on Thursday, on the sidelines of the 78th Anniversary of SJAG, which fell on 24th June, Mr Apedzi said although the SJAG had been organising EMS education for basic schools, it could not cover all of them hence the need for such education to be incorporated into the school curriculum.

“Although, we know that the curriculum at the basic level is choked, we believe that since EMS can be used to save lives, it would be very helpful if it could be added to the curriculum for those at the basic level so that they can grow with that knowledge,”, he suggested.

He said because of the lack of knowledge on basic EMS provision or first aid by Ghanaians, many people continued to lose their lives when they could have been saved by very simple medical interventions.

He explained that SJAG, as a member of the Order of St John, a major international charitable organisation, was focused on the alleviation of human suffering.

In collaboration with St John UK, he said, this is done through the training and provision of first aid services, disaster management preparedness, ambulance services, community health and youth development – by giving the youth skills acquisition platform.

Mr Apedzi said SJAG was established in Ghana by the then colonial or British Police in 1937, with a governing council which was established by Act of Parliament (Act 57 of 1959).

He said for the past 78 years, it had rendered charitable services to humanity, trained millions of the workforce in first aid, provided emergency services to victims of disasters and provided first aid cover at national and corporate meetings.

”We have also played host to and trained employees of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and continue to provide professional development to our internal stakeholders”, he added.

He cited lack of funding from the Ministry of Health, lack of ambulances, and inadequate training equipment as some of the major challenges facing SJAG.

On the organisation’s outlook, he expressed satisfaction with the rate at which people were embracing first aid and emergency medical service provisions and seeking training as well as requesting for professional services.

He expressed hope that SJAG would have its fair share of the ambulances that the Government was importing and supplying to agencies and departments.


First Aid at the basic school level!!! Yes sir. We at Canberra First Aid agree 100%. First aid skills are some of the most important that can be learnt and can help save somebodies life. We have been contacted on numerous occasions when some of our past students have used their new skills.

Come and complete a first aid course with us today so that you are prepared. We offer student discounts, we allow all participants and we will make you feel comfortable and welcomed into our first aid classes.

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