By Ruth Oketunde
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has reaffirmed commitment to improving on stakeholders’ capacity on mass casualty management.
Declaring open a training for emergency stakeholders on mass casualty handling, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, NEMA Director-General, called for timeliness and professionalism in disaster response.
The training which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), also received technical support from the British High Commission and the U.S. Embassy.
Ahmed, who was represented by Air Commodore Edward Adedokun, the Director, Search and Rescue of the agency, said the training would provide an opportunity for all participating MDAs to acquire new skills, share experiences and re-strategise in saving many lives as possible in cases of disaster.
He said that the impact of any disaster on lives and properties, depends largely on the swift and effective response of crisis management actors.
“In combating today’s threats, capabilities required to go beyond those of any single agency.
“It entails synergy of efforts and interoperability of various components through joints trainings and exercises, information sharing, expertise and resource utilisation in order to achieve the desired results.
“It is common knowledge that person’s affected by disasters and crises needlessly die or are permanently confined to wheel chairs as a result of lack of initial care on one hand or unprofessional handling by the spontaneous responders or first responder agencies on the other hand,” he said.
He, however, urged the stakeholders to use the acquired knowledge from the training to contribute their quota in reducing disabilities and mass fatalities, which is usually the aftermath of large scale disasters.
Also speaking, Mr Idriss Abbas, the Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), also called on the participants to learn, update their knowledge and ensure timely response in cases of disasters.
He added that it was important to improve on the alertness level of emergency responders in order to achieve the goal of mass casualty handling.
Mr Aduku Akoji and Mrs Zuwaira Aliyu, both participants from the Federal Fire Service and FEMA respectively, added that the training would provide an opportunity for them to be better equipped for effective crisis management.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training, which had both theoretical and practical sessions, had in attendance representatives from the Ministry of Health, NEMA, Federal Fire Service, Civil Defence, FRSC, Nigeria Police Force, FEMA, Red Cross, among others. (NAN)