Lots of work must be done to deal cardiac arrest cases at league centers in Africa – Dr. Prince Pambo

Published on: 18 June 2021

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) medical expect Dr. prince Pambo believe there is a lot more to be done in order to deal with cardiac arrest cases at league centers on the African continent.

Last Saturday, Erikson suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of a Euro 2020 tie against Finland, his life was saved thanks to the swift actions of his team-mates and medical staff.

Despite admitting, they can deal with Christian Erikson collapse like at AFCON, he indicated that work still needs to be done in local leagues around the continent which is something he is doing to address in his native country, Ghana.

"The key thing you need is your own brain as a human being to know what to do and that is how to do basic CPR," he pointed out.

"Just a week before the Eriksen incident I was teaching students on Zoom - the Ghana Football Association and the University of Ghana have collaborated and come up with a training programme for masseurs and physiotherapists.

"We have realised in our local leagues most of the medical people attached to our teams are masseurs most of them (teams) don't have doctors so we have a physios and masseurs - so we organise training for them."

"There are avenues for training for people to have that basic skill and to use the AED you don't have to be a medical person in fact you don't need to be educated you just have to be trained and it takes less than 10 minutes."

He added that in Ghana the cities of Accra and Kumasi are well equipped to deal with such medical emergencies but that further afield more work needs to be done.

Dr Pambo pointed out that match referees and match commissioners also play a crucial role in helping ensure player safety and wellbeing.

"If you get to the league centre as a referee or a match commissioner you need to inspect to see whether there is a functioning ambulance ready to work before you can sanction the match to start," he insisted.

"We have been to venues where this an ambulance only to see that the tires are flat. Every referee has the right to decide not to start a game if he cannot see a fully equipped ambulance and paramedics ready.

"We want clubs to equip their medical teams with this knowledge so when they hear we are doing such training they should sponsor their masseurs to come forward or to hire qualified people,

"Most of these things we see happening during big games also happen during training sessions so clubs need to be better equipped."