UNIFIL holds first-aid classes for women in S.Lebanon village

Women in Hasbaya's Mari participate in a first-aid class organized by UNIFIL's Indian Battalion, July 9, 2019. (Mohammed Zaatari/The Daily Star)

SIDON, Lebanon: Women in a south Lebanon village participated in first-aid courses organized by UNIFIL with the aim of reducing delays in urgent medical care.

The Hasbaya village of Mari Tuesday welcomed soldiers from the Indian Battalion of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in south Lebanon, who held first-aid classes for local women in coordination with the Social Affairs Ministry. The women were taught to deal with medical emergencies such as electrocutions, fires, snake bites or fainting, as well as learning how to perform artificial respiration.

According to the battalion’s medical officer, Maj Ravdeep Kaur, one of the courses’ key aims was to decrease the number of deaths that the village could face due to delayed medical assistance.

In addition, tents were set up in Mari for a week to provide emergency medical care, and informational pamphlets were distributed, Kaur told The Daily Star. She added that in the long term, women in the village could provide immediate medical assistance.

Majd Mohd Arshil Muheet, an officer in the Indian Battalion, said the group hoped to provide the participants with important medical knowledge.

Ibtihaj Hammoud said Tuesday’s classes marked the first time she had attended a first-aid class. She added that she was shocked to learn some of her assumptions about medical care had been incorrect. “If someone gets bitten by a snake, we are used to sucking the poison out. ... That’s what we watched on television ... but today I learned how to properly remove poison,” Hammoud said.

Samara Youssef, another local who participated in the classes, said it was important for women to acquire the necessary medical skills to help when needed.