By Seipati Thabo
National emergency medical care week is celebrated on the third week of May in honour of paramedics and first aid services for their services and sacrifices, also an opportunity for EMS to continue to raise public awareness about the critical role of EMS in the community.
It was originally authorized by the president of Gerald Ford on November 3-10, 1974 and was later moved to the third week of May. In 2023 the emergency service week marks the 48th annual celebration.
National theme of this year’s emergency week is “where emergency care begins”. Medical emergency and situations faced by all medical practitioners require quick problem solving and years of training. As the field expands EMS are always in the front line when it comes to emergencies and emergency medicines
In Lesotho, EMS has not been fully implemented as in the government sector there are no employed Paramedics. EMS works through private sectors and this week the country joined the rest of the world in celebrating paramedics for saving lives. This celebration is going to serve as an awareness to teach the community the importance of EMS.
The celebration of the EMS started on Monday 22 May and the closing event will be held at Teyateyaneng (TY) grounds with different speeches from health ministers and important guests. With regard to emergency services week we have Mr. Molise Makholisa working at Vitality Health as a paramedic explaining how they provide emergency services to patients.
Mr. Molise explained EMS as a part of health services that provide a pre- hospital management of sick and injured where they monitor patients before they arrive at hospital. He said their health care works with an ambulance of which he can name it a hospital as it has everything a hospital can offer. In this ambulance there are also specialists with different knowledges from basic, intermediate and advanced life support. He said he would like to say to all paramedics and people who want to be part of the Ems to celebrate this week knowing that EMS are very important as they saves life’s. Though they do not know when the accident can happen they are always readily available to help in whatever happens and thinks working together as different EMS can improve their services.
For people who want to be part of EMS, one should study health science courses because they are the ones that allows them to qualify to be paramedics or to provide services needed in the EMS. Mr. Molise assured that as long as there is a patient , the EMS services are found everywhere in the country even in rural areas as other paramedics walk on feet to access remote areas, others with cars such as ambulances and also planes to give access everywhere they are needed.
He continued that vital health is working at Polihali because they bring service near people working at Polihali as in the work places there are highly risky. Their presence will help them provide first aid services helping in keeping lives and stabilize injured to help in reducing further injuries. In a case where injured people need to be hospitalized they make sure such patients arrives to a place of assistance on time. Mr. Molise said he also recommends people to go to school, study EMS at different levels as it is lacking in the country.
In an event hosted at pioneer Maseru, EMS personnel were donating blood, collecting sanitary towels to be donated at orphanages and primary schools. There was also a team that checks vital signs free of charge such as; blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rates and temperature. Mrs. Koena Sekola from Medical Emergency Association of Lesotho said this week is very special to them and would like Basotho to engage more as they play a very important role though they not honored enough. She marked Monday events as a start and would be glad to see people in large numbers at the closing ceremony. Although this is a celebration they take it as a campaign which will make people aware of the importance of EMS.