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In first, ZAKA trains Muslim women from northern Israeli town in basics of lifesaving

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The course for women took place in the predominantly Arab town of Deir Al Asad; the course trained women in how to do CPR on a child and infant and what to do when a child or infant  choking

By ILANIT CHERNICK

In a first, women from the Arab town of Deir Al Asad in northern Israel were recently trained in the basics of lifesaving by ZAKA volunteers.

The initiative, organized by ZAKA’s Eshet Lapidot and Deir Al Asad local council, was a first-of-its-kind event for the predominantly Muslim town situated in the Lower Galilee region. 

Eshet Lapidot is a women’s philanthropic international organization that works to facilitate social community initiatives for women in Israel and around the world, particularly in the field of health and well-being.

The event was organized in hopes of giving the women in the community “the basic skills in lifesaving techniques to be used in the home and educational frameworks,” ZAKA said in a statement.

“This course is part of a free, large-scale, community-wide initiative, to train every woman, mother, caregiver, teacher or housewife with the requisite basic first aid and resuscitation techniques that could save lives in the event of an emergency, before the arrival of qualified emergency personnel,” ZAKA said.

According to the organization, the four-hour course included how to do CPR on a child and infant, what to do when a child or infant is choking on a foreign body, identifying common medical emergencies in children and how to create a safe environment. 

“The course, delivered by a trained ZAKA paramedic volunteer, combines theoretical study and hands-on practice,” the group said.

Women from the Arab town of Deir Al Asad in northern Israel during a basics of lifesaving training course.
(Photo credits: ZAKA)

Part of the reason for the course was also to highlight the common misconception that the home is the safest place for children and how to deal with medical emergencies in children and infants when and if they occur. 

“Data from recent years indicate[s]…that two-thirds of children’s hospitalizations are attributed to accidents at home,” ZAKA explained. 

They pointed out that some of the highest incidences of accidents at home include electric shock, ingestion of a foreign body and contact with hazardous substances. 

Most of the cases occurred, they said, “when one of the parents (often the mother) is alone at home. 

“The first reaction is typically a cry for help and a call to the emergency services, especially when she does not have the tools to deal with the crisis,” ZAKA stressed. 

They explained that time is of the essence when such accidents happen. They explained that once the ‘four golden minutes’ pass, which is the critical time to prevent the brain from being starved of oxygen, the damage can be irreversible.

With these practical tools and training, children’s lives can be saved.

 Following the course, Deir Al Asad’s council head Ahmad Dabah, presented the participants with certificates and first aid kits, adding that he “looked forward to further courses in the future.”

ZAKA is a UN-recognized international humanitarian volunteer organization that trains and operates thousands of volunteers in Israel and overseas in search, recovery and rescue. 

ZAKA works for the benefit of all, regardless of race, religion or creed.

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