A prominent social activist has appealed to the government to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) a compulsory subject in all schools and institutions of higher learning in the country.
Ang Lai Soon, who is also the St John Ambulance Sarawak Council chairman, said he was confident the new federal government would not only support his proposal but also implement it in the shortest possible time.
“There is absolutely no harm in starting with the school students but all students in institutions of higher learning would also benefit and should be equally trained in CPR.
“This new policy would save lives needlessly lost now every day,” he said in a statement today.
Ang said a few years ago when he started his campaign in Sarawak for CPR to be made a compulsory subject, the then federal government strongly supported the proposal, including to study how the education ministry could incorporate it into the existing syllabus.
“However, before my proposal could be translated into policy, there was a change of government following the general election,” Ang said, adding that he was delighted to note that other countries had also taken this idea very seriously.
He said Britain had just announced it would start CPR training in schools in 2020 but hoped the British authority there would include all tertiary institutions soon.
Every year in the United Kingdom, he said, there were about 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, but less than 10% of these casualties survived because no one knew CPR at that most crucial moment.
“There is, I think, no reason for anyone not to support the learning of CPR as a compulsory subject as it is just simple training and all you need is a person who has been trained in basic First Aid to start a class.
“I am confident that governments everywhere, the St John Ambulance, The Order of Malta, The Red Cross/Red Crescent and St Andrew’s Societies, health organisations, hospitals and volunteers will only be too happy to join in this crusade to save millions of lives needlessly lost,” he added.