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World First Aid Day: History and significance of first aid

By Ishika Sahni

Every year, the second Saturday of September is recognized as the World First Aid Day. This year the day came on September 12. World-first aid day is a yearly campaign to encourage the seriousness of first aid preparation in avoiding injuries and saving lives.

The day was first recognized in 2000 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) according to whom first aid is a ‘humanitarian act’ and must be available to everyone. The IFRC also encourages people to learn basic first aid skills as volunteers and communities for first aid help save lives ‘without discrimination’


On 24 June 1859, Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman from Geneva, seen the frightening suffering following the battle of Solferino, which steered him to write Memoirs of Solferino, which spoke about Dunant’s idea of an independent organization to provide care to injured soldiers. This inspired the configuration of the ICRC, and Dunant afterwards became the co-founder of the Red Cross.


We all know that first aid is the primary and instant assistance given to a person having a minor, or serious, injury or illness, while the Red Cross articulates that first aid is not a substitute for emergency services it does help provide care and avoid the condition from worsening further, with the hope of recovery, until sufficient care can be provided.

According to the Red Cross’ website, millions are hurt and injured every year all over the globe on account of the dearth of timely medical assistance; still, with knowledge of first aid, one can easily avoid this by providing care as waiting for professionals. This can help to decrease deaths and injuries, as well the impact of disasters, tragedy and day-to-day emergencies by a big deal. The Red Cross also expresses how people living in war-torn or disaster-prone areas don’t have the opportunity to get trained in first aid, and how just a basic idea of it might help decrease many ‘vulnerabilities and helps build stronger communities’.

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