The Islamic Medical Association of South Africa will join a global ‘save a life, save humankind’ training programme on Saturday, September 25, organised by the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations. KHASHIEFA MARTIN provides background and details of the training programme.
The Johannesburg branch of the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (Imasa), headed by the project coordinator, Professor Ashraf Coovadia, initiated the ‘Hand-on AED-CPR Campaign’ in 2013.
The aim of the project was to install an AED (automated external defibrillator) device in every masjid across Gauteng and train community members in the basic skills of resuscitation, also known as CPR. AED and CPR go together in improving survival from cardiac arrest.
The project was officially launched at the annual Imasa convention, where close to 400 healthcare workers and their family members were trained annually . Refresher courses are offered every year to those who have completed the training.
After the first training, Professor Coovadia formed a team of dedicated volunteers who completed the BLS (basic life support) instructor course and assisted him in conducting the formal training in the use of the AED machine and the basic CPR training. It was envisaged that better resourced mosques would support the poorer communities with assistance in purchasing a device at a cost of R24 000 (at that time). The masjid, being a central area and with ease of access for the public, was seen as a practical place for the AEDs to be kept.
When the pilot project first took off in Gauteng, members generously donated towards the purchasing of the mannekins and the training material, and when it expanded, other branches creatively went about raising funds to establish their project in various ways, such as cycling.
What is an AED and when would I ever need to use one?
An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a medical device that looks like a box and is used whenever a person’s heart stops. The machine provides the heart with a shock which can then ‘jump-start’ the heart again. The great benefit is that an AED can be used by any lay person even before any medical or advanced help arrives, provided they have received some basic training.
CPR, or resuscitation, and AED usage are linked. CPR must be performed before and after arrival of an AED device, and CPR should be continued until advanced medical help arrives. This improves the chances of survival of the person who has suffered a cardiac arrest.
Would you know what to do?
If a person collapses in front of you and stops breathing, this training programme teaches some basic skills of resuscitation. Our target groups are any members of the public who are interested in CPR training, including masjid committee members, imaams, muadhins, educators at various madaaris and secular schools as well as any other organisations.
We welcome members from all faiths and different walks of life to join our training sessions. The aim is to equip you with the basic skills to assist someone who has had a life- threatening event until advanced help arrives.
Alhumdulillah, over the past few years, the project has grown in leaps and bounds, and Imasa branches nationally have duplicated this project in their regions. Members from Imasa have completed the BLS course, allowing them to facilitate and offer this course within their communities.
In addition to this, the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (Fima) has introduced an annual ‘lifesavers – save a life, save mankind’ global training day, hosting CPR demonstrations and training in various countries, globally. Imasa will join Fima in commemorating this day in South Africa across different provinces and regions.
Join the training programme
Online and physical training with strict COVID protocols will be offered, depending on the region and ability to provide safe training. IMA branches across the world will come together to teach thousands of people about CPR, the recovery position and how to help somebody who is choking.
This year’s Fima lifesavers event is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2021, and our teams are fervently busy preparing for the big day. We make duah that Allah SWT continues to utilise Imasa and the volunteers to benefit humankind, ameen.
Project coordinators: Ml Moeneeb Martin: 082 961 8100/ email@example.com; Dr Zaheer Essop: 083 987 6152/ firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr Asma Salloo: 082 211 6677/ email@example.com
- Khashiefa Martin is the Imasa Gauteng regional manager (phone numbers: 011 837 6717/ 084 701 3208; email: Imasa.firstname.lastname@example.org)