The Philippine Heart Association (PHA) in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT) brought its CPR on Wheels and Wings prject to the Ilocos Region in Vigan and Laoag City, on Monday and Tuesday.
The two-day activity for Ilocanos is part of the nationwide campaign of PHA and DoH to promote awareness and skills on pulmonary rescuscitation (CPR). There were 3,000 pre-registrants in Vigan and 1,000 in Laoag.
The CPR Wheels and Wings project has 13 hops and has so far trained 78,000 people, majority of whom are local government employees, barangay (village) health workers, and tourism stakeholders and frontliners like front desk staff, food attendants, lifeguards, boatmen and souvenir shop vendors.
Former PHA president Raul Lapitan told The Manila Times the trainings aims to transform every tourist facility in the country into a CPR-ready destination.
“The goals of the CPR-Ready Philippines is to make every Filipino home or Kapamilya, municipality/city a CPR-Ready community and every Filipino aged 10 to 65 years old a lifesaver; to put the Philippines on the international CPR-Ready Map, and to be at par with Asian and Western nations that have been CPR-Ready for years like Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia [and]Taiwan,” he said.
“Basic CPR has been in their school curriculum, with kids as young as 8 years old able to do hands-only CPR. AEDs [automated external defibrillators]are strategically installed in public places, work places, and malls, that’s why let us get ahead of Asian countries like Vietnam,” Lapitan added.
The start of the advocacy
The first CPR on wheels took off in October 2016 while the PHA’s CPR-Ready Philippines 2021 Campaign was launched in 2015.
“As the CPR-Ready Philippines vehicle, it is aptly called the CPR on Wheels and Wings because the team travels by air, sea and land to train lay people who can apply their training and pass on to their co-workers and family members, et al, and the news about the country’s having CPR-Ready places and eventually, a CPR-Ready country will spread around the world, courtesy of the extremely pleased travelers,” Lapitan explained.
He said, however, that there were destinations that could not be reached because of logistics and funding limitations.
For example, medical doctor Leilanie Adarna, a PHA member who designed General Santos City CPR on Wheels training tour said funding proved to be the stumbling block.