Empowering school children island-wide to successfully manage health and safety risks, Hemas Hospitals launched the ‘Suwa Sisu’ programme and initially conducted training sessions for first aid champions. Suwa Sisu is a comprehensive health and safety project which engages in training first aid champions, supplying first aid facilities including first aid boxes to schools as well as conducting educational programmes for students, teachers and parents.
Hemas Hospitals plans to expand the programme to uplift health and safety preparedness in 100 schools across the nation by 2020. In line with the project objectives, Hemas Hospitals has partnered with Sri Lanka Saukyadana Movement to provide first aid training to students while consultants and healthcare professionals from the hospital chain facilitate educational sessions.
Conceptualized by Dr Lakith Peiris, Managing Director of Hemas Hospitals, Suwa Sisu was launched parallel to Hemas Hospital Thalawathugoda’s fifth-anniversary celebrations. This long term initiative will bring together students from various schools island-wide through a shared training programme which will also include sessions on health and hygiene and life skills.
The project, a first among school children aims to coach students in health and safety risk management and thereby foster skills needed to successfully face any medical emergency.
“Children lead active lives. While being active is an essential aspect of a healthy childhood. This also places them at risk of occasional accidents which if not handled properly can lead to serious health risks. As a socially responsible healthcare provider, we believe that we can assist children themselves to effectively manage medical emergencies. Suwa Sisu is our way of uplifting children and adults who care for them to master the skills and aptitudes necessary to face emergency situations sensibly. Health and safety risk management can help save lives and train children to take responsibility and become good leaders. During the initial training sessions, we coached more than 150 first aid champions and we hope to continue the good work,” Dr Lakith Peiris, Managing Director of Hemas Hospitals said.
“One does not have to be a medical expert to deal with an emergency situation. The right basic knowledge can control the situation until the medical support arrives,” he stated further, adding that common emergency situations in schools include falls, fractures, bleeding, seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea and that choking was one of the most hazardous emergencies.
However, the primary goal, Dr Peiris said, was to teach them to identify a situation in need of first aid.
Rushen Dias, a grade 10 student from St Anthony’s College Wattala thanked Hemas Hospital saying, “We learnt a lot of information about first aid that we previously did not know during this session. I am grateful to everyone who worked hard to organize the training session for us.”
Under the first phase of Hemas Suwa Sisu, batches of students from Viharamahadevi Balika Vidyalaya Kiribathgoda, St. Anthony’s College Wattala, St. Anne’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya Wattala, Sri Subuthi National School Battaramulla and Sri Indrajothi Vidyalaya Battaramulla were provided first-aid training. Selected schools were those in close proximity to Hemas Thalawathugoda and Wattala. Notably, Hemas Hospitals have also pledged to provide a regular supply of first-aid kits which the hospital will replenish as required.
Students who successfully completed the first aid training programme during the initial stages of the pioneering initiative will be given certificates of recognition. The first aid champions will also be encouraged to participate in a number of educational and skills development programmes facilitated by Hemas Hospitals. The students will receive further awareness building programmes on emergency medical treatment and they will be invited to participate in health camps, health awareness programmes as well as career development programmes.
First established in 2008 with the launch of its pioneering facility in Wattala, and followed by a second facility in Thalawathugoda, Hemas Hospitals is one of the most advanced hospital chains in Sri Lanka and is currently aiming to further expand its operations into super-specialty medical and healthcare, through the addition of further state-of-the-art facilities aimed at providing international standard of healthcare and an affordable rate for all Sri Lankans. The organization employs over 300 consultants covering a wide range of specialties and our 24-hour Accident and Emergency Units equipped to handle any medical or surgical emergency.