accessibility & help

Zigabul’s story: training pays off again and again

Whether treating fractures or spotting TB, housewife Zigabul Jumakasheva has been making good use of her new first aid skills and health knowledge.

Zigabul lives in a rural village in south-eastern Turkmenistan. When volunteers from the Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan visited her community, they held meetings giving simple but vital health and first aid information. The fun, interactive sessions covered everything from the risks of smoking to how to stop the spread of HIV.

The visits were part of a programme helping thousands of people in rural areas stay healthy. These communities face challenges such as dirty water, long journeys to hospital and little knowledge of health issues.

A scarf and two bits of wood: not your normal first aid kit

The sessions proved their worth when Zigabul heard her neighbour’s son crying out in pain one day. Dovlet, six, had fractured his ankle playing on a carousel.

Remembering skills from her first aid training, Zigabul used two pieces of wood and a scarf to make a splint around the ankle. Then she made sure the boy was taken to hospital.

She says: “I was very happy and proud that I could stop the pain for a while.”

Spotting the signs of TB

The boy wasn’t the only person to benefit from Zigabul’s knowledge. When she heard her brother-in-law complaining about pains in his chest, she thought he might have TB. The Red Crescent had told her about the illness and its warning signs.

She advised him to visit a doctor. When he did, Zigabul’s hunch was proved right. The illness was in its early stages, and he was able to recover.

She says: “I feel good that I was able to help him – and he was grateful that I pushed him to go to the doctor.”

  • The Red Crescent programme, which is supported by the British Red Cross, teaches people how to prevent and get treatment for injuries and illnesses – including hepatitis and HIV. It also gives mothers and pregnant women advice to improve the health of them and their babies. Read more about the programme, which is set to help 32,000 people in 2015.
  • There are loads of easy ways to learn first aid. Find out more.