The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Where Are Kenya's Powerpuff Girls to Rescue Us?

opinion

Where are the Powerpuff Girls when you need them? After what we have witnessed in Kenya in the last one week with the political party nominations, maybe the only people who can rescue us are the Powerpuff Girls.

In case you do not follow them, the Powerpuff Girls are the products of an attempt by the cerebral Professor Utonium to create perfect little girls.

However during the process he accidently spills in "chemical X" and out come the strong redheaded Blossom, sweet Bubbles and always ready to fight Buttercup.

When called to action these girls fly through the air and karate chop evil and anarchy that threaten that city of Townsville and the world at large.

A typical case for the Powerpuff Girls starts with some (usually a politician or criminal element) attempt to circumvent authority and laid down rules within society.

Depending on how conniving the 'someone' is, there can even be an attempt to ban the girls from using their superpowers to prevent the chaos that ensues.

The darkness that engulfs Townsville during these moments of madness allow regular hoodlums such as the Gangreen Gang - a group of disreputable unhealthy looking teenage thugs to cause additional mayhem.

What looks like a simple case of changing one thing causes the whole system to break down. It is a wonder that the citizens of Townsville are so patient under such manufactured and avoidable suffering episode after episode.

The only reason they suffer so much and bounce back is that they are fictional cartoon characters on TV. Not so in our Kenya. Even though we watched what under other circumstances might be considered fiction - it was all real.

Politics is important but so is the implication of a system that is stretched to breakdown. Because then things spiral out of control and it is difficult to predict where a problem will arise.

Thankfully physical violence was reduced by our abysmal standards. But that is not to say it will not happen. At which point just like the Powerpuff Girls who are in kindergarten learning the alphabet, each of us individually must revise our ABC. It could make the difference for someone.

Airway, Breathing and Circulation represent the key elements of first aid. If for whatever reason a person is injured or sick enough to require assistance from another person, the first thing the aider should do is recite ABC.

An injured person is either conscious or unconscious. Either way the first thing is to observe for a few seconds if they are breathing regularly and gently.

If the airways are blocked, that is the nose, mouth or even inside the windpipe then there should be evidence of laboured or obstructed breathing.

If conscious then you must ask how the person is feeling and if they are having any difficulty breathing. Then look for signs that the blood circulation is adequate.

Obvious bleeding means that the person is loosing fluid. Loose enough fluid and the blood circulation will collapse and with it the heart.

Dehydration is a not so obvious cause of circulatory collapse. Again if the person is conscious then ask them where there is pain - often a sign of where there is blood loss.

If unconscious look for signs of bleeding. It can be an external cut or it can be internal injury. If external, stop the bleeding by applying a steady compress to the area.

Not press and check! But a steady compress for about five minutes. Checking the pulse is the next thing. As you are unlikely to be calm, steady yourself first by taking three-four deep breaths then check the victim's pulse.

A strong regular pulse is normal, a shallow irregular pulse is not. Checking the ABC should take less than one minute and may save the life of the person.

Only once you are sure of the victim's ABC should you turn to what may appear to be an obvious injury and attend to that. Thereafter the patient can be safely moved to a health facility.

Those of us who have made the digital migration can safely watch episode after episode of the Powerpuff Girls - safe in the knowledge that in the end with their superpowers the cute kindergarten girls will swoop out of the sky! and box! and biff! the societal elements that thrive on chaos at least until the next episode.

On TV the mayor or his assistant always realise that they need help and calls for it. What about Kenya? While we wait revise your basic first aid.

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