Former Warriors doctor Nicholas Munyonga speaks on importance of defibrillators in football

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By Bhora Afrika

“Make it mandatory, don’t play football without seeing a defibrillator machine,” former Warriors team doctor Nicholas Munyonga urged local football coaches.

The veteran sports medicine doctor said this during a high-performance symposium held in Harare from 14 to 15 June by Major Sports Consultancy.

Major Sports Consultancy provides modern sports Scientific Education and Consultancy through Sports Scientific knowledge and research.

The organisation was founded by the Zimbabwe Warriors fitness and conditioning coach, also Azam FC’s sports scientist, Nyasha Charandura.

Speaking to participants at the symposium including Bulawayo Chiefs, Greenfuel, Herentals and Ngezi Platinum Stars’ head coaches, the former Zimbabwe Saints doctor said:

“Sport teaches us leadership, and in football, you (coaches) are the leaders. Leaders deal with things that affect or put those they lead in danger.

“As leaders, I encourage you coaches not to allow a football match, be it a social game during pre-season or at trainings with your clubs to start without seeing a defibrillator machine.

“Defibrillators save lives, you will thank me one day. I carry mine everywhere, it stays in my car, at times I travel with it even when boarding public transport.”

A defibrillator is a device which provides a high energy electrical shock to a heart to allow it to get out of a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm or cardiac arrest.

The important machine saved the lives of Denmark’s Christian Eriksen and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fabrice Muamba who in 2014 launched a campaign to get more life-saving equipment into public places in the United Kingdom (UK).

Despite Dr Munyonga’s remarks some football matches in the country are still being played without the device.

To make matters worse, some if not the majority of the matches are played without paramedics.

The veteran sports doctor also told the coaches to “develop a system of checking the pulse of their players”.

Furthermore, he urged local clubs to support paramedics and team doctors by providing them with full medical kits.

He believes whenever a match is played, both home and away teams should value the medical practitioners and treat them as team C because they are also part of the game and their role is of great value.

Munyonga also urged the Premier Soccer League to prioritise cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to players.

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