First Aid training in the Jordan Valley

Knowing how to help someone who is choking or suffering a heat stroke could be lifesaving when an ambulance would take more than an hour to reach your home. For the Bedouins from Ara’rah, a small community in the Jordan Valley along the Road One between Jerusalem and Jericho this is truer now than ever, as a nearby Israeli settlement has recently installed a fence between the community and the highway that cuts them off. MAP’s mobile clinic is unable to provide essential health services if settlers decide to close the fence, and the only accessible road to the community.

To strengthen the community’s resilience and emergency preparedness, MAP, together with our partner the Islah Charitable Society (ICS) organized an intense one week training course for the women of the community. During the course all the participating women have to take an exam before they receive their certificate and, most importantly, their own personal first aid kit.

Nawwal, a specialized trainer has guided them through the details of most common injuries and accidents. The main topics covered were burns, heat stroke, broken bones, respiratory blockage and insect bite.

“Most accidents that happen in our community are minor, but they could cause bigger problems because we do not have easy access to health care," explains one of the members of the community, Umm Raed. "Most common injuries happen to the children like a piece of glass stuck in their foot that causes cuts or insect bites. The course was very helpful because a lot of it was new for me. I feel more confident now having the kit to solve those problems on my own. I will be able to act myself.”

I feel more confident now having the kit to solve those problems on my own.

Nawwal is very happy with her students: “It is nice to see a mix of young and old. The youngest participant was 14, the oldest almost 60. None of the students missed a single class.”

"The most difficult topic we learned about was heart attacks," Umm Raed continued. "It is scary to think about it. Anata is the closest hospital to use, but I guess Al Azariyye would be easier to reach if there is no checkpoints.”

The training is not about textbooks and certificates, but about building resilience and self-reliance and to give individuals the confidence to act.

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