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Zaatari camp residents receive first aid training

By Muath Freij - May 27,2014 - Last updated at May 27,2014

ZAATARI CAMP –– After Syrian refugee Yaser Natour witnessed a number of incidents that took place near his tent and required first aid, he sought the proper training to be able to lend a helping hand in similar situations.

The Daraa-born refugee joined a training course conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at the Zaatari Refugee Camp on how to administer first aid and deal with health emergencies.

“Some people might suffer shortness of breath or other incidents that require having first aid skills, so I didn’t hesitate to participate,” he told The Jordan Times during a break between training sessions. 

Natour is one of 30 Syrians who are benefiting from first aid training conducted by the ICRC as part of a project first launched last year to train Syrians on first aid procedures and raise their awareness of unexploded ordnance and remnants of war, ICRC First Aid Delegate Abdul Badih El Dada said on Monday.   

Around 159 people benefited from last year’s programmes, he noted. 

“In the beginning of this year, we conducted two intensive workshops to enable trainees to train their fellow Syrians,” Dada told The Jordan Times in an interview in the camp. 

He noted that Syrians who completed the programmes conducted six workshops to train their compatriots.

“We supervised these sessions as well,” the ICRC official added, stressing that the project is geared towards sustainability.  

“This is why we established a training centre at the camp’s ICRC premises,” he added.  

The training includes dealing with cases of unconsciousness, bleeding, fractures, burns and animal bites, which are the main cases that refugees deal with in the camp or if they go back home, according to the trainer. 

“The project will wrap up by the end of this year,” he said, adding that around 30 workshops will be conducted this year. 

Dada noted that members of relief organisations and NGOs working in the camp will also be trained by the ICRC.

“They work in the camp and they might face accidents that require having first aid experience.” 

There are two levels of training: The basic level covers eight hours while the advanced training of trainers lasts for five days, according to Dada, who added that men and women can take part.  

Meanwhile, participants interviewed by The Jordan Times expressed their excitement over the course. 

Abu Hamzah, who has been at the Zaatari camp for four months, said the skills he will obtain from the training will benefit him at the camp and once he returns to Syria.

“We will face conditions that require having such skills,” he said.  

Mohammad Masalmeh, a 40-year-old Syrian nurse, said although he has 24 years of experience in nursing and first aid treatment, he decided to take part in the training. 

“I used to work at field hospitals when instability flared in my hometown of Daraa. I transported injured people to the field hospital and administered first aid,” said Masalmeh, father of eight.     

He said he took part in the workshop to acquire further skills such as how to deal with fracture cases and how to help people who face burn injuries. 

“I want to start training my fellow Syrians after I finish participating in the course.”

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