Caf has revealed its readiness to handle a situation like was witnessed when Christian Eriksen collapsed during the ongoing Euro 2020 finals.
The 29-year-old Inter Milan player collapsed shortly before half-time in Denmark’s opening Euro game against Finland, but was awake and “stable” after being rushed to hospital.
The former Tottenham Hotspur star collapsed as he attempted to receive a throw-in at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, and Denmark’s captain Simon Kjaer was one of the first players on the scene and appeared to clear Eriksen’s airway.
Ghanaian sports medicine expert, Dr. Prince Pambo, who is a member of the Caf medical expert group, has explained if the scene happened at the venues hosting any Afcon match, they would be ready to handle it by giving the same level of care as was given to Eriksen.
Pambo has, however, raised concerns about local leagues across Africa and if they would be able to adequately deal with such a situation if it happened.
“I can confidently tell you that if this happened at any of our venues during an Afcon – we would have been able to give the same level of care that Eriksen got in Denmark,” Pambo said as quoted by BBC Sport Africa.
“The simple reason being Caf has a group of experts in the medical committee – made up of sports physicians and emergency medical personnel and during Afcons, such doctors are deployed to all the venues.
“Normally you go two weeks ahead of the tournament and you inspect all the medical infrastructure available at each venue. There are times when you conduct training for all the paramedics who will be present there.
“You also take into consideration the distance between the stadium and the closest hospital and you also go and have interaction with the emergency medical team at the hospital.
“Every venue is always going to be equipped with a number of AEDs [Automated External Defibrillators] – so I can assure you that if this happened during an Afcon he would have had the same level of care.”
Pambo insisted more is supposed to be done to the local leagues to quickly handle such incidents, stating: “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.
“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 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.”