World First Aid Day 2020: History and significance of first aid

Every year, the second Saturday of September is observed as World First Aid Day, this year the day falls of September 12. World First Aid Day is an annual campaign to ‘promote the importance of first aid training in preventing injuries and saving lives’. The day was first observed in 2000 by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) according to whome first aid is a ‘humanitarian act’ and should be accessible to everyone. The IFRC also urges people to learn basic fird aid skills as volunteers and communities for first aid help save lives ‘without discrimination’


We all know that first aid is the initial and immediate assistance given to person having a minor, or serious, injury or illness, while the Red Cross clarifies that first aid is not a replacement for emergency services it does help provide care and prevent the condition from worsening further, with the hope of recovery, until adequate care can be provided.

According to the Red Cross’ website, millions are injured and hurt every year around the world on account of lack of timely medical assistance, however, with knowledge of first aid, one can easily prevent this by providing care while waiting for professionals. This can help reduce deaths and injuries, as well the impact of calamities, disasters and daily emergencies by a great deal. The Red Cross also acknowledges how people living in war-torn or disaster-prone areas don’t have the opportunity to get trained in first aid, and how just a basic idea of it could help reduce many ‘vulnerabilities and helps build stronger communities’.


On 24 June 1859, Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman from Geneva, saw the horrifying suffering after the battle of Solferino, which led him to write Memoirs of Solferino, that spoke about Dunant’s idea of an independent organisation to provide care to wounded soldiers. This inspired the formation of the ICRC, and Dunant later became the co-founder of the Red Cross.

Given how these injuries and pain is still universal, it pays to have a few basic skills in first aid. There are free online first aid courses to learn basics of first aid on the IFRC website,.

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