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Football emergency medicine course raising awareness in Rwanda

Rwanda emergency football medicine course

FIFA, together with the Rwandan Football Association (FERWAFA), hosted Rwanda’s first-ever emergency football medicine course at the FERWAFA headquarters in Remera, Kigali, on 26 and 27 February.

Around 30 participants from the Azam Rwanda Premier League, the second division league and a selection of women’s football clubs took part in the course, which included a mixture of theory and hands-on training on how to remove injured players from the field of play, managing neck injuries, handling concussion and education about sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Professor Efraim Kramer, author of the SCA module in the FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine, led the course. "Almost 67 per cent of sudden cardiac deaths in football occur in African players," Kramer said. "It is therefore important that practical skills and training courses on recognising and responding to sudden cardiac arrest and how to perform resuscitation on the football pitch are made available to African member associations of FIFA if requested. The football emergency medicine course presented in Rwanda is a shining example of this collaboration between FIFA and the Rwandan Football Association in an effort to prevent and manage sudden cardiac arrest.”

The SCA course included learning how to spot the signs of an SCA and give emergency treatment as well as preventive measures with hands-on training of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use a defibrillator.

FIFA raised awareness on this topic during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ last year, releasing an awareness poster, which was in every team changing room, and running a series of emergency medicine workshops.

Representatives from FERWAFA included Dr Moussa Hakizimana, Executive Committee member, and Dr Rutamu Patrick, who manages the FERWAFA rehabilitation clinic and is also the physiotherapist for the Rwandan senior national team.