Community first aid responds to tribal fight injuries in Papua New Guinea
- “When I was shot in the abdomen some years ago, I did not know what to do before reaching the hospital. With this training, I will be in a better position to help others who sustain wounds.” - Puiand Waipapen, Lakolam Community, Wabag District, Enga ProvinceEmily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- Some of the community in Lakolam at the Community Based First Aid Training. Here Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS) volunteers Brian and Lazarus are demonstrating how to initially treat a broken leg.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- PNGRCS volunteers Brian and Lazarus are demonstrating an improvised chair technique for carrying a conscious injured person with one or both lower limb fractures.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- Jeremy Trur, the ICRC Health Officer in charge of the First Aid trainings in the Highlands, speaking at the first aid training in Lakolam.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- The weather and scenery across the Highlands is striking. The ICRC vehicles are parked outside the school in Lakolam Community where the first aid training took place.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- Looking out onto the hills surrounding Lakolam Community. Some of the locals live behind these mountains and walked for almost an hour to attend the Community Based First Aid Training.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- “We are in a fighting zone. Many people in the community sustain burns and wounds from fights and other activities such as gardening. We really appreciate the first aid training we received because it will help us minimize the severity of wounds and burns that people sustain in the future.” - Judith Kepakali (Ward Councillor) Kupalis Community, Wabag District, Enga ProvinceEmily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- The same first aid training session was held with members of the Kupalis Community, Wabag District, Enga Province. The Kupalis Community is not far from Lakolam and violence erupts between the two among ongoing fighting. Here, three women practise tying a bandage for a broken arm during the first aid session.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- At the first aid training with the Kupalis community, PNGRCS volunteer Steven shows how to check if someone is breathing before administering CPR.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
- The view out the car window driving along the Highlands Highway in Enga Province.Emily Contador-Kelsall / ICRC
Injuries from tribal fights in Papua New Guinea can be traumatic. They range from gunshot and bush knife wounds to fire burns. Unfortunately, during fights, health care is not always accessible whether it be too far or too dangerous to reach. In these situations, first aid can save lives.
Working with the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society we held Community Based First Aid Training sessions in Lakolam community and Kupalis community in the Wabag District of Enga Province in early November 2022. The Community Based First Aid training incorporates local perspectives and tools with other first aid techniques.
Lakolam and Kupalis are only a short drive away from one another but for years violence between these two communities has erupted sporadically, causing destruction and injuries.
In these three-day first aid training sessions, we shared techniques that can be used at the site of accidents to respond to injuries like gunshot wounds, spear and bush knife wounds.
In 2022 we implemented 23 trainings in 16 communities in the Highlands.