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St. John Ambulance raising Ksh12million to train operators

St. John Ambulance Kenya is embarking on a Sh12 million fundraiser to train boda boda riders and matatu operators as accident scene first responders.

The fundraiser, dubbed St John Ambulance Road Safety Charity Walk, seeks to bring together partners from different agencies including the public to support the cause.

The first aid body is implementing a programme to train boda boda riders, matatu operators and residents of black spot areas as first responders.

The programme, which began in 2021, aims to equip those that mostly respond at accident scenes with relevant first aid skills to be able to assist injured persons

According to the resource mobilisation officer Florence Kasuku, the training began to fill a gap that was noted by the body.

“We realised a gap as most of the people around an accident scene are either matatu operators or boda boda riders, and most of the time they do not have any first aid skills,” said Kasuku.

She added that the campaign aims at equipping the participants with both skills and first aid kits, which would help reduce road accident fatalities by responding and attending to injuries in emergency situations

So far, the project, which is in partnership with the Ministry of Transport and the Bodaboda Association of Kenya (BAK) who are mobilizers, has trained 300 boda boda operators, which according to Kasuku has yielded good results so far prompting them to scale up to more regions beginning with Kiambu, Nairobi and Embu.

“The results inspired us to scale up the project to other regions and are targeting 2000 people to be reached with first aid skills and equipment,” she stated.

The initiative coincides with the presidential directive in March 2022 to the Ministry of Transport to work in collaboration with St. John’s ambulance to train 200,000 boda boda riders to boost the country’s first responder capacity

According to data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), road fatalities between January to May 2022 have shot up by a 9.3 percent at 1,968 compared to 2021, which was at 1,800 within the same period.

The drive is set to take place at the Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary on 18th June 2022.

By Laura Thuo

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