REMARKS BY PRIOR AND EXECUTIVE COUNCIL CHAIRMAN OF ST JOHN KENYA, MAJOR (RTD) HON MARSDEN MADOKA, EGH, KSTJ, DURING THE ANNUAL ST JOHN INSPECTION PARADE AT KICC ON 18TH JUNE, 2017
First let me thank all the guests who have joined us in this auspicious occasion, especially the Chief Guest Honorable Retired Major General Joseph Nkaissery, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government. There are also other key guests, whom I would have mentioned by name, but in the interest of time, allow me to collectively express our gratitude.
Our Chief Commander Mr. Eliakim Masale has highlighted about our volunteers and part of what we do as an organization. I just wish to add a little and express my joy with some of the progress that we have made so far, despite having a few teething challenges here and there.
It is encouraging to note that, we were able to reach about 27,000 people of which over 8,000 benefited from our ambulance and rescue services. It may not be known to many that, St John is one of the only agencies in Kenya that oﬀer free ambulance services to accident and disaster victims, as other providers are fully commercialized.
To expand our evacuation services in remote areas like Wayu and Galili in Tana River County where roads are narrow and inaccessible by regular vehicles, we are providing free motorcycle ambulance rides to women seeking delivery and other maternal care services.
It is worth noting that these motorcycle ambulances have helped more than 620 people since their introduction.
On the highways, our community rescue teams stationed at 18 ﬁrst aid rescue centers along the major transport corridors have helped at least 1,300 victims of road accidents in the past one year alone. These teams oﬀer quick first aid care, where ambulance would delay to arrive. The initiative was rolled out after finding out that a huge percentage of road deaths and permanent injuries were as a result of poor handling and incorrect first aid given by Good Samaritans who mean well, but end up compounding the injuries due luck of first aid skills.
Moving forward, our intention is to upgrade these roadside rescue centers into trauma clinics, to oﬀer more advanced care to road crash victims in not too distant future.
In training, our organization continue to build on its reputation as a preferred provider of ﬁrst aid and emergency medical skills. This position has enabled us to oﬀer large number of ﬁrst aid, safety and health courses. In the past year, we trained over 18,000 people on ﬁrst aid and other disaster related skills.
All these tremendous progress were made possible with the support of our volunteers who give back their time and money to enable us to reach many people in need. That is why our theme for today’s occasion is about “recognizing the role of volunteers in emergencies.”
They contribute selfless, and sometimes thankless hours serving the community. They ensure that we reach areas where sometimes no one else want go.
There are also corporate entities, who gave us substantial business, whose proceeds we invested in enhancing our lifesaving services to the people in need.
As you all know, in less than two months we will be casting our ballots to elect our preferred leaders in the coming General Election. During this time, many things happen. Some are good, others are bad. However, we want to urge everyone to be peaceful and to avoid violence or incitement to violence during this electioneering period.
I know in our usual nature, as Saint John Ambulance, we have put in place proper contingency measures to deal with any form of disaster that may arise. All said and done, it is not our wish that our emergency resources be overstretched by any kind of poll-related violence. This is possible if we remain peaceful, united and patriotic.
Our work is to give first aid to the injured or those who suddenly fall ill. We therefore urge the public to call us whenever an emergency occurs. This include those who may faint or need urgent medical attention as a result of standing for long in queues while exercising their democratic rights.
At this time, I wish to invite the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko, to make a few remarks as representative from our parent Ministry of Health. I know he has big news about budgetary provision for us, as earlier directed by the President. The process has taken longer than expected. If he can give some greenlight about it, I am sure there will be a lot of cheering claps by the members present today. If he cannot, I am sure the Major General is a very influential Cabinet Secretary, who can have a side chat with his Health colleague for us to get this money to enhance our lifesaving services across the country.
Thank you and God bless you.