For many pupils, marching at the Independence Day celebration is an honour. It is one of the memories they cherish and hold on to for several years. But what happens when this march of honour becomes a potential life-threatening adventure?
On the 61st Independence Day Celebration, as was the one before it, scores of school pupils collapsed in the heat of the march past.
It looked more like a story of the survival of the fittest, as many pupils, struggled to hold on. Many did but few gave up.
With their wobbly legs under a dehydrated body, the pupils collapsed under the scorching sun, notwithstanding their excitement and the passion.
Joy News’ Hanna Odame who reported on Ghana’s 61st Anniversary celebration, Tuesday, could not help but notice scores of pupils who fell.
And when they did, officials at the Ghana Ambulance Service, on a lifesaving mission, quickly moved in to resuscitate the victims.
Surprisingly, security personnel, who presumably are stronger, healthier than the school pupils were not left out of the falling spree.
Hannah Odame saw one Fire officer go down completely. The spirit of patriotism was willing but the dehydrated body was weak. He gave up and fell.
An official with the Ghana Ambulance Service Alhassan Mohammed told Odame the casualty rate for this year was far lower than that of last year but gave no specific figures.
Alhassan said he gave the ‘victims’ oxygen masks in a desperate attempt to resuscitate them and when they were finally up, they were given glucose to boost their energy levels.
A health worker with the Red Cross is advocating for new measures to minimize the number of pupils and forces that collapse during the parade.
Catherine, called for the parade to be held a lot earlier in the morning by which time the heat levels will be lower. She also appealed to organisers to make it possible for the pupils to be given water during the parade.