After series of medical courses provided last year, a large number of qualified medical officers in Fiji are now available to provide aid at domestic competitions.
Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) facilitated numerous Intensive Care in Rugby (ICIR) and First Aid in Rugby (FAIR) training sessions in 2020, across four regions (Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern), as border closures limited access to overseas based trainers.
Oceania Rugby Training and Education Manager Talemo Waqa said, “It was good to see FRU using all their trained ICIR medics in all their domestic competitions.”
“Signing off Jennifer Khalik and Dr Josese Turagava as medical trainers to be able to run Fiji ICIR courses during COVID-19 in preparation for their domestic tournament was well worth the effort.”
“As the Regional Training Manager, I had to quality assure all the training and was impressed on their delivery and to see the trained medics using their leanings and it was very rewarding."
FRU’s Match Commissioner Talei Thomas also participated in one of the FAIR courses, encouraging all commissioners to become accredited.
“I feel that all Match Commissioner’s need to go the through the FAIR course and be accredited because it’s all part of the job and the risks involved,” said Ms Thomas.
“I believe that if I hadn’t been trained and accredited with FAIR, I wouldn’t have been able to deliver in the way to ensure the safety and welfare.”The extensive training has already paid dividends after a player collapsed during warmups for a Skipper Cup match between Suva and Lautoka.
Medical officers proceeded to apply CPR to the Lautoka player, before concluding that that player’s airway was blocked.
Without access to a defibrillator, officials continued applying CPR on the Ambulance to the Hospital which eventually saved the players life according to the hospital emergency department.
Oceania Rugby Training and Education Manager Talemo Waqa credited their training to their swift and ingenious response.
“When such an incident happened, our training assisted to save a player’s life on the day.”
The player made a full recovery and is back with his family and a great lesson learnt for everyone.” Waqa added.
Medical Training in FAIR and ICIR continued during the early part of 2021 in readiness for the Provincial rugby competitions and FAIR Trained referees applied MILS (Manual In line Stabilisation) in two situations on consecutive rugby weekends before Fiji was affected by a major COVID lockdown April.
More information about Medical Training in the Oceania region and all Rugby Training & Education programmes can be found here.