Malapasqua Medical Aid
Organized by: Alfred Pride
We were in Malapasqua and had finished our dives for the day. We were hanging out at the dive shop, chatting with everyone about our dives. That's when the divemaster we were with ran out towards the beach. A local kid had drowned. Her family was on the street, completely distraught. We were totally impotent, unable to help in anyway, and wondering where the doctors were. The local divemaster was able to revive the 10 year old girl after performing CPR. He came back to the dive shop and was surprisingly nonchalant about the situation considering he had just saved a child's life. He told us it was a regular occurrence. On a weekly basis they were called upon to help with drownings, and heart attacks, and from time to time strokes. When serious storms passed through the area, it was the divemasters and rescue divers who were called upon to provide first aid. There's no medical assistance available on the island of 3500 local inhabitants and the nearest doctor is a 2 hour trip away. Why is this cause special or worth donating to? It's not. There's probably thousands of areas around the world with no health care professionals available. Malapasqua has hit home with us because we've seen it face to face. We've seen how people can respond to emergencies, even when they lack essential medical gear. The locals there know that the divemasters are the only people around with first aid and CPR training. These are the people that stand between life and death when a family member needs help. And while they have no medical equipment to support them, they've become the saviours in times of need. If CPR needs to be performed while a father is loaded into a boat and transported for an hour to the main island, then transferred to a vehicle and driven for another hour to the nearest doctor, it's the divemasters that take on the responsibility of trying to save a rescuable life. Without the local divemasters and their training, a family could lose their child, or a parent, or a grand parent. We take it for granted in North America that certain events are survivable. We have 911. Ambulances. Doctors. Nurses. In other places around the world these luxuries are unavailable, but that shouldn't mean that people's loved ones are less valuable. An automatic defibrillator like the AED G3 PLUS AUTOMATIC from http://www.canadiansafetysupplies.com/ (which comes with a 4-year fully operational battery) will allow the divemasters to provide better health care in times of need. The kit also comes with training materials that can be used during the rescue diver program, which will increase the number of qualified responders. The MobileAid Quick- CERT Incident Command Kit from http://www.mobile-aid.com/ will help the dive shop respond to natural disasters like the Yolanda (or Haiyan) hurricane that struck in early 2014, from which the island is still recovering from 2 years later.