Schools Around the Country are Urged to Participate in a Life-saving Initiative

Calling all primary school learners across the country to complete
a life-saving education programme

Picture Credit: Jurie Senekal

February 2022: Primary school children across South Africa are encouraged to become potential lifesavers by participating in an award-winning educational campaign. The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa is urging all parents and educators to register learners to participate in the free, fun, and interactive FAST Heroes programme.

This world-renowned award-winning educational initiative actively harnesses children’s innate enthusiasm through stories by illustrating superhero grandparents that help identify the most common symptoms of stroke. Considering that a large number of South African children spend ample time with their grandparents who are often their primary caregivers, and are most at risk, this initiative comes at an important time.

According to the World Stroke Organisation, a stroke is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world and the 3rd leading cause of disability, and the tragedy is that about 80% of these deaths or disabilities can be prevented if treated timeously. In South Africa, together, heart disease and strokes are associated with a high burden of disease with a substantial death rate. According to STATS SA, death from cardiovascular diseases are the highest of all non-communicable diseases which include diabetes, cancer, respiratory disorders and others.

The FAST Heroes campaign teaches children to recognise the three most common stroke symptoms when “the evil Clot” strikes: a face that suddenly droops to one side, an arm that suddenly becomes weak and speech that is slurred, or “broken”. Learners who participate in the programme which consists of 5 lessons, undergo weekly simulation and repetition to learn the essential life skill of staying calm and knowing how to call an ambulance immediately by dialling 112 on any mobile device.

All material to participate in the fun, interactive FAST Heroes programme is free of charge to all registered schools across the country.

Registration for schools, teachers, and learners can be completed online and closes on 24 March 2022, visit fastheroes.com.