An interactive safety education campaign is to be rolled out by Bonitas Medical Fund to 43 000 learners at 67 schools across South Africa…
Bonitas is honouring the legacy of Madiba in a sustainable way, by creating a safer environment for all South Africans. The Scheme recently launched Just In Case, a safety initiative which aims to teach children how to react and protect themselves, and others, in the event of an emergency.
Statistics show that over 8 000 children die every year in South Africa due to accidents, which are largely preventable. A recent focus group with children identified the need for basic first aid and safety training in schools, with many children unsure who to call and how to react in an emergency. The focus group also encouraged youngsters to verbalise their biggest fears. These included, among others, losing their parents or a friend and being in a car accident.
According to Gerhard Van Emmenis, Principal Officer at Bonitas, Just in Case will get key prevention and ‘what do you do first’ messages across through interactive theatrical presentations, informative talks and educational material.
‘The Just In Case initiative has been carefully designed to address a number of safety issues and help youngsters cope with emergencies – in and out of the home. It is about preventing unnecessary accidents and keeping communities safe while hopefully giving children the confidence to cope in these situations.’ Van Emmenis said.
Just in Case is primarily targeted at Grade 1 and 7 learners but will also help empower teachers, families and communities on the steps to take in the event of an emergency. It is tailored for various age groups and will address a range of safety concerns including basic first aid, helmet and safety belt rules, fire safety and emergency injury treatment as well as how to prevent drowning. Due the unacceptably high threat of abduction and assault of children, the campaign will also include ‘Stranger Danger’ tips and life skills to add to their safety.
‘We are taking the campaign to 43 000 learners in 67 schools around South Africa. This is a sustained effort to make a long term positive difference. The schools will be selected by our members whose support and co-operation is pivotal in the success of the initiative,’ says Van Emmenis.
‘One of our strategies is to empower our members to take control of their health and wellbeing. The Just In Case campaign dovetails with this. We want to make safety a priority and help reduce the number of accidental injuries and deaths.’
The programme will be rolled out in phases over two months and, Bonitas will leave a fully equipped First Aid Kit with each school on departure as a further step to building a safer community.