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St Joseph’s Primary School gets first aid kits to boost health and safety

Friday 21 July 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, Health, National


St Joseph’s Primary School gets first aid kits to boost health and safety
Apii St Joseph’s Head Boy John Tupa, Ngaara Tuake and Head Girl Manava Tiere. MELINA ETCHES/23071908

Accidents are unexpected and can happen anywhere including a school yard, and being prepared can reduce panic and provide the necessary aid for injuries.

Apii St Joseph’s Primary students sang beautifully at a special presentation yesterday where they received the first of 200 First Aid kits kindly sponsored by Bank of the South Pacific (BSP). The presentation was conducted by BSP’s business manager Marlene Maoate and digital manager Achaal Narayan.

These medical kits will provide teachers and other school personnel with the tools to deliver prompt first aid care in the absence of health professionals.

The First Aid kits programme is a collaboration between BSP and Te Marae Ora health ministry following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two parties for three years.

Acting director of Oral Health Services, Dr Kirianu (Dash) Nio said: “We are grateful for the warm welcome from the kids, and we are happy to provide these First Aid kits sponsored by BSP which will provide immediate remedy and manage all types of injuries including basic cuts, scrapes and burns.”

Apii St Joseph’s Principal Savenaca Tukitoba said: “I am very glad to receive these kits.”

“School is a place of learning and children are engaged in all sorts of learning in and out of the classroom including the playground and the garden and so they are prone to injuries.

“These kits make work easier for us, and will help the kids and the staff at school, we are very thankful.”

Dental health specialist, Dr Seema Kumar, who also attended the presentation, complimented the students for their songs.

“You children are beautiful and you are well behaved, it’s beautiful to hear your prayers, singing and culture and creativity, but from the health perspective we want you to take better care of yourself too, not only your general health but also look after your teeth well too,” she said.

“We want our tamariki to be healthy – if you are going to be healthy today, as adults you will be healthy.”

Dr Kumar shared that most adults are having a lot of diseases, adding it all starts with what people put in their mouths.

“First your teeth will get bad and the rest of the parts of your body,” she said, encouraging the kids to get a dental check-up.

Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) development manager, Ben Koteka said the First Aid kits are great for the schools to have.

Koteka said that player safety is paramount for World Rugby, and likewise for kids playing in their school yard or garden. He added that the kits will help to strengthen health and safety, and will be comforting to parents that these measures are available at the school.

“There are some things we take for granted and I’m so grateful that through relationships, coordinating and engaging in the community, not just in sport but in general life, we as a community can do great things together,” said Koteka.

“Rugby is more than just a game, it’s about helping to build our community in keeping safe and having a healthy, better lifestyle.”

As well as helping keep the kids safe, these free kits will also save the school money, he said.

Te Marae Ora endeavours to provide better health programmes for children and adolescents with its partners and collaborative arrangements in an ongoing basis.

The Ministry of Health is appreciative of the support from BSP in contributing towards improving health and wellbeing of Cook Islands children.