“In the past two years since Netcare’s Trauma Injury Prevention Programme (NTIP) was launched, Netcare has reached over 270 000 people, mostly children, to educate them on the prevention of serious injuries.”
So says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment, who made this comment ahead of World Head Injury Awareness Day (20 March 2015). “A significant part of NTIP’s focus has been on preventing head injuries, specifically in children. The Netcare TIP team has, for example, visited 25 pre-primary and primary schools around the country in the past two years, educating youngsters on road safety, helmet safety, the importance of wearing seatbelts when driving, water safety, animal safety and sports injuries. We also disseminated information at a number of festivals and shopping centres and published an emergency and injury prevention guide, which we distributed through various channels, including Your Baby and Baba en Kleuter magazines.”
“As we all know children at primary school level not only engage in some potentially risky activities such as bike riding, but they are also highly impressionable so we want them to be well versed in safety from an early age,” emphasises Toubkin.
It is estimated that around 90 000 people per year suffer from a head injury, many of whom endure a serious loss of cognitive functioning and are left totally or to some extent dependent on their loved ones.
The effects of a head injury depend very much upon the nature of the injury and the area of the brain that has been damaged, explains Toubkin. “An individual who has had a very serious injury may suffer radical physical, psychological and behavioural changes while someone who has had a lesser injury may suffer only mild symptoms. The more serious cases should be treated by a fully integrated team of healthcare experts, including neurologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists, who are able to handle all of the aspects of head injury and tailor the treatment and rehabilitation to the needs of each individual patient.”
“As a concerned corporate citizen, Netcare believes that it is very important that the various role players in society work together to both reduce the incidence of head injuries and effectively treat those who have suffered head injuries. With this in mind, we have trained nearly 350 NTIP facilitators from Netcare emergency departments who have presented the programme at various locations around the country,” notes Toubkin.
The NTIP programme seeks to provide information regarding injuries and how to avoid them; to encourage people not to engage in risky behaviour; and to change behaviours, for example getting people to wear their seatbelts when travelling in a car. The programme was conceptualised by Rene Grobler, trauma programme manager for Netcare Milpark Hospital, which is accredited by the Trauma Society of South Africa as a Level 1 Trauma Centre.
“The programme has been carefully designed to take advantage of the considerable expertise that is available through Netcare emergency departments to raise awareness among South Africans and give advice on what they can do to prevent the risk of trauma incidents. We at Netcare are excited about the impact this programme is having on our communities, and we will continue to share the messages of safety,” Grobler concludes.
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Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Sarah Wilson
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