Malawi FA gets lifesaving machine from FIFA: To help in cardiac arrest situation

World soccer governing body FIFA  has donated a Defibrillator and a massaging board to the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to ensure safety of players and their lives when playing international matches.

FAM Chief Executive Officer, Suzgo Nyirenda, confirmed the receiving of the equipment in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.

Nyirenda said the donation was made in South Africa during the Match Fixing and Corruption in Football workshop.

“Kindly be informed that during the Match Fixing and Corruption in Football Workshop which was held at Garden Court Hotel in Johannesburg from 25th to 26th August 2012, FAM received a donation of a Defibrillator and a massaging board from FIFA,” reads part of the statement.

Nyirenda: There is an absolute need of a defibrillator on football fields

“The equipment is now being cleared and it should be in the custody of FAM by the end of this week,” adds the statement.

According to the FAM CEO in the statement, FIFA had promised to donate the equipment to all its Member Associations during the last FIFA Congress which was held in Budapest in May 2012.

Defibrillator is a life saving device that apply sharp electrical shocks to the heart when its beating becomes dangerously rapid or chaotic.

The shocks can restore normal heart rhythms before the malfunctioning heart suffers sudden cardiac arrest, a seizure that can lead to death within short period of time.

Nyirenda said the equipment will be of great use to the association and the players as they will be assured of their safety when playing.

“We have seen and heard number cardiac arrests in football of late and we hope this machine will assist saving the lives of football players,” said Nyirenda.

He said the equipment will be available in all international matches but with the guidance and approval of the Executive Committee of the Football Association of Malawi, there are hopes that the equipment will be made available to local league matches as well.

FIFA media experts say providing defibrillators to football grounds was a “matter of life and death”.

There have been two particularly high-profile cases of sudden cardiac arrest in the past couple of months.  In March, Fabrice Muamba was shocked 15 times with a defibrillator after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest and collapsing on the pitch in an English Premiership League; thankfully the resuscitation and defibrillation applied by medical staff saved Fabrice’s life.

However, the death of Piermario Morosini in an Italian Serie B game between Livorno and Pescara in April was a stark reminder that more needs to be done to prepare against sudden cardiac arrest in football.

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