Editor's Comment

Help first, film later

RECENTLY, there was a video doing rounds about a van which had overturned.
People at the accident scene were busy filming the incident as some of the victims mourned and others called for help.
More people who arrived at the accident scene pulled out their phones to take pictures and videos which they sent out to various social media platforms.
The scene was heart-rending as several victims, most of them evidently injured, lay on the road and on the roadside.
This was the aftermath of an accident in which a van carrying the 38 inmates and three Zambia Correctional Service officers from Luanshya Correctional Facility overturned.
This habit has unfortunately become common in Zambia. People simply rush to accident scenes, not to help the victims, but to take videos. In some instances, some of the video producers even brag: “happening now!”
It is extremely immoral and inhuman. Social media platforms are supposed to be tools for communication and are not here to replace people’s values.
That is why the Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) has berated this growing trend by people who have developed the habit of taking videos at accident scenes instead of helping out.
It is not only unZambian but immoral as well to ignore people who deserve help and instead take photos of them in pain.
That habit is straight from the pit of hell. It is inhumane and completely unacceptable and unpalatable.
That is the moment when citizens and other motorists, including people who live in areas where the accident has happened, should show love and empathy by helping out.
The expectations are that motorists and other people must provide first aid, help and provide other services at the accident scene.
It is therefore disturbing that people have thrown the spirit of helping one another to the wind and instead begin to exercise their photography skills on vulnerable people who need help.
The least one can do is phone emergency services, try to divert oncoming traffic using triangles and reflective vests (where available) or render some first aid (if trained in that field).
The bare minimum is trying to offer whatever help may be required like transporting victims to hospitals, if that is what is needed by emergency services.
People should learn first-aid skills as a matter of urgency while motorists at whatever level should have aid kits in their vehicles and, more importantly, know how to use the kit.
People should learn what to do when they arrive on the accident scene such as taking off shoes and loosening the clothing of the accident victims.
They should then assess whether the victim has energy to help himself or herself and, if not, help them to be as comfortable as the circumstance allows, considering that moving them could worsen their injuries.
If accident victims have strength to help themselves, they should be advised what to do. For instance, if one is bleeding, they should be advised to cover the wound to stop the blood from coming out or bandage them as the situation may demand.
In case they have a fracture, a supportive device called splint could be used to keep in place any suspected fracture in one’s arm or leg.
Accident victims could also be helped to lie in a comfortable position waiting to be transported to a nearest health facility.
People should also be sensitive and know how to relay messages after an accident – whether there have been fatalities or not.
In the event of death, people should desist from indiscriminately posting pictures of the deceased before the next of kin are informed. It is immoral.
People retain the human and Christian values by, first and foremost, saving the lives of the victims of the accident.
It is inhuman to start rushing to take pictures.
Simply put, the whole filming of videos is rotten to the core and people posting such pictures should be prosecuted by the law. If there isn’t any law on which to prosecute them, let Zambia enact such legislation.


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