ENSURING the general well-being and good health of the thousands of participants and spectators comprising the public during the 27th National Day Celebration at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien yesterday was a top priority of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Executive Committee of the 27th National Day celebrations.
In an interview with the Bulletin, the commander for medical coverage on Brunei’s 27th National Day, Hjh Nora bte Hj Mohd Yussof, said that they devised extensive strategies covering various locations in the capital. Speaking from the mobile command post, she said, “Logistic preparations were done much earlier, even before the rehearsals to ensure a smooth operation, not only for common ailments but also for patients who require heavy duty or emergency treatments. The Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien accommodated two static clinics, of which one was mainly for participants in the field while the second next to the Royal Regalia Building catered to participants in the flag-waving line-up.”
First-aid tents were also seen set-up across the Taman and at designated areas in the capital as observation points and to treat minor casualties. Eight ambulances were also on standby in case of scenarios where people would be required to receive medical attention at the hospital. A ‘walking team’ was also sent to the field during the march past and performances to indentify any potential need for medical attention.
One of the two static clinic situated next to the grand stand of the Taman
In addition she also added that over 100 volunteers from the Red Crescent society and paramedics from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces also joined hands in providing their assistance and services.
During the march past and field performances, the Bulletin observed fewer than five people being ushered on a stretcher due to dehydration and heat stroke as temperature gradually rose in the morning. When asked about how the ministry is handling the heat stroke cases, which is not uncommon during national day celebrations, Hjh Nora said, “The MoH does give health advice to all participants through broadcasts on radio and television and did inform schools and departments joining the celebration to take proper meals and drink enough water during times of intense heat to prevent heat-stroke. We also advise people who are suffering from pre-existing medical conditions to not partake in the celebration to prevent risking further harm.”
A paramedic from RIPAS, Hj Md Shahnol bin Hj Bakar, who was stationed in front of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex said, “We have only received minor cases today, nothing serious. Patients with cases of heat-stroke, blisters and mild headaches were promptly treated at out first-aid kiosk. Taking into account the uncertainty of weather conditions nowadays, so far it has been a smooth operation and successful one.”
Hj Shahnol (left) a paramedic from RIPAS was stationed in front of the Yayasan SHHB Building
A Year 10 student from Sekolah Menengah Masin and a volunteer from the Red Crescent Society, Zulfadli bin Hasli, expressed his delight to see the parade from inside the Taman itself.
He said that the apart from the unforgettable experience, he is also more than happy to help people who required medical attention during the celebration and felt so proud and patriotic for contributing to his country. The Red Crescent volunteers comprised secondary school students who joined the society as part of their co-curricular activities.
Md Zulfadli from the Red Crescent Society with fellow volunteers
- Borneo Bulletin, Thursday 24 February 2011.