On a rainy July evening in the Kanha National Park in Central India, forest guard M. P. Kartikey was returning to the anti-poaching camp after patrolling his beat, when he accidentally came uncomfortably close to sloth bears – a female with cubs. Before Kartikey could react, the bear rose up on her hind legs. He was attacked.
Due to the remoteness of his location, it took Kartikey 36 hours to reach the hospital. Despite the delay and his severity of injuries, he survived. Many others have not been so lucky. India’s frontline forest staff risk life and limb every day as they set out for their patrols. Confronting poachers, loggers and illegal fishers, and being attacked or bitten by wild animals, are all everyday possibilities. Injuries range from fractures and snake bites to bullet wounds.
WCT’s Trauma Management training programme for frontline forest staff is aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills to deal with trauma situations. Practical training in skills like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), choking first aid, management of seizures, snake bites management, point-of-care testing for malaria, dealing with major trauma and extrication, are all aimed at reducing injuries and saving lives. Frontline staff are also provided with a First Aid Field Guide in their regional languages, which informs them about specific techniques for handling different health emergencies in the field.
By protecting the nation’s forests, rivers and biodiversity, frontline forest staff ensure our access to clean air and water, and help mitigate climate change. WCT’s efforts are aimed at ensuring the safety of these guardians of our ecological future.
About the author: Rizwan Mithawala is a Conservation Writer with the Wildlife Conservation Trust and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers. He has previously worked as an environment journalist with a national newspaper.
Disclaimer: The author is associated with Wildlife Conservation Trust. The views and opinions expressed in the article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Wildlife Conservation Trust.
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