Through the years, the Philippine Red Cross proves that its commitment in providing quality, life-saving services that protect life and dignity, especially of indigent Filipinos in vulnerable situations, is more than just a philosophy but a way of life, making it the premier humanitarian organization in the country.
Community Health and Hygiene Promotion Project
Last year of June 16, The Philippine Red Cross’ Health Services partnered with the PRC Cebu Chapter at the Ala Mercedes Gold Course, in Medellin, Cebu and launched the CHHP with the goal of improving access to public health service delivery for vulnerable communities, making them healthier, safer and resilient communities. This two-year developmental project is aiming for a total of 6,000 households from 15 barangays and 10,800 school children from 17 schools. The PRC Chapter Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, were joined by the Japanese Red Cross Society delegates, who supported and graced the project.
The Philippine Red Cross, running on its 67th year, has many ways of helping people. From initially providing blood to disaster-related activities, the Philippine Red Cross evolved into offering a wider array of humanitarian services, including preventive medicine and therapeutic counseling to youth leadership.
Over 1,637 people, of whom 62 cases of individuals who suffered major injuries during the Traslacion, were attended to by over a thousand PRC volunteers on duty during the height of the said event. Their Traslacion operations consisted of 12 first-aid stations and an outdoor hospital, where 603 patients, who experienced minor complications such as fainting, puncture, abrasion, bruises, toothache, nosebleed, sprain, hypoglycemia, swelling, muscle spasm, and dizziness, were catered to.
“We are getting better every year. Our staff and volunteers are highly experienced, equipped, and trained. These trainings have resulted in saving the lives of devotees of the Black Nazarene,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, who supervised the proceedings from the PRC Operations Center.
Established in 1947, the PRC has ever since forged a commitment to provide services related to life-saving Filipinos in helpless situations. PRC currently has six major services namely Blood, Disaster-management, Safety, Health, Social, and Red Cross Youth and Volunteer Management services.
Tropical Depression Usman
With support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, the PRC spearheaded humanitarian assistance operations after the onslaught brought by Tropical Depression Usman, which affected eight provinces, especially hard-hit areas from Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Albay.
“We were first to respond in Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Albay, where we provided rescue, water, and hygiene facilities. We are now preparing mechanics for giving cash grants so our affected countrymen can start anew with dignity. We have volunteers on the ground getting people out of harm’s way and retrieving those that can be saved,” Gordon said in an Al Jazeera interview.
The PRC Operations Center helped 289 families, who were still housed in 24 evacuation centers in Camarines Sur and Northern Samar, while the PRC National Headquarters deployed three water tankers, a 6×6 and 10-wheeler truck housing 300 jerry cans, 300 hygiene kits, 2,400 capsules of Doxycycline, and 30 body bags for search and retrieval operations.
Aside from humanitarian missions, PRC also collects blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors with donations roughly reaching 50% of the nation’s blood supply. All of the collected blood undergo blood testing before being used in transfusion operations. After being screened for diseases, all blood clear of anomalies are separated into three parts; red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. After the component processing, the specimens are stockpiled in a temperature-controlled blood bank refrigerator, which can then be asked for by clients or patients with hospital/physician-issued blood request.
“PRC has indeed done us a great service by not only providing our citizens with disaster relief and healthcare services but also by inspiring volunteerism in each and every Filipino,” President Rodrigo Duterte wrote in a letter at the unveiling of PRC’s dialysis center.
Guided and inspired by the values of fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – humanity, impartiality neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality, all Red Cross staff, and volunteers continue to provide their services to Filipinos, and to the Philippines.