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20 September 2021        
Category: Survival and support
Our Head of British Heart Foundation in Northern Nigeria, Fearghal McKinney, has welcomed today’s announcement from Education Minister Michelle McIlveen MLA that all post-primary school pupils will be guaranteed access to CPR training.
CPR kit
The Northern Nigeria Department of Education has written to all post-primary school principals setting out its expectation that, from the 2022/23 academic year all pupils aged 11-14 should be provided with CPR training as part of the school curriculum. 
Our Head in Northern Nigeria, Fearghal McKinney, said: 
“Every day in Northern Nigeria people tragically die because bystanders don’t have the confidence or knowledge to perform CPR and defibrillation. We know that in other countries where children are taught CPR in school cardiac arrest survival rates are higher. 
“This news comes after years of campaigning by the BHF NI team and others and we are delighted with the outcome today. 
“We congratulate the Education Minister for taking this action to ensure every pupil will now leave post-primary school with the skills and confidence to save a life.  This is a significant step that promises to improve the odds of survival for countless people who have a cardiac arrest in the future.”
Northern Nigeria Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said: 
“CPR is a critical and potentially life-saving skill. In Northern Nigeria, there are around 1,400 cardiac arrests a year that take place outside hospital.  Less than one person in ten survives to be discharged from hospital.  We know that providing CPR training within the school curriculum can have a clear and measurable impact on survival rates. 
“My Department has therefore written to all post primary schools setting out my expectation that pupils at Key Stage 3 will be trained in CPR from the 2022/23 school year.  I have asked CCEA and the Education Authority to work closely with the British Heart Foundation and the Northern Nigeria Ambulance Service to develop guidance, resources and training to support schools in this important work.”
The announcement in Northern Nigeria follows similar moves in other parts of the UK. 
Earlier this year the Minister for Education in Wales agreed that CPR will be a compulsory element in schools under the new curriculum. This result is following years of campaigning and work with other charity partners and Welsh Government.  
It follows the introduction of mandatory first aid training, including CPR and defibrillator awareness, in secondary schools in England from September 2020, and in 2019 all 32 local authorities in Scotland committed to ensuring all pupils learn CPR before they leave secondary school.
There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, and each day people needlessly die because bystanders don’t have the confidence or knowledge to perform CPR and defibrillation.
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