The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is all set for the 16th Annual South-East Asia Red Cross and Red Crescent Leadership Meeting in Makati City on October 24 – 25, 2019.
This year’s meeting is hosted and chaired by the PRC with the support from the South-East Asia International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Secretariat.
This gathering brings together more than 40 leaders from IFRC, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including Presidents, Chairmen, and Secretaries-General from the 11 South-East Asia National Societies: PRC, Thai Red Cross, Indonesian Red Cross, Viet Nam Red Cross, Singapore Red Cross, Cambodian Red Cross, Lao Red Cross, Myanmar Red Cross, Timor-Leste Red Cross, Malaysian Red Crescent and Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent.
The main objectives of the annual meeting are to discuss Movement policies and issues of the Red Cross and Red Crescent work among the National Societies, the Federation secretariat and the ICRC, agree on appropriate action and follow up, and to decide on issues of interest to the Movement in the region.
It also provides an important opportunity for Presidents, Secretaries-General and senior management to evaluate challenges, successes and future direction, as a way of further strengthening the world’s largest humanitarian network.
This year, the leaders will discuss the outcome of the previous meeting held on April 10 – 11, 2018 in Melaka, Malaysia and review other priority agendas such as the Manila Call For Action which was adopted by Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders during the 10th Asia Pacific Regional Conference, from November 11 – 14, 2018 in Manila, the One Billion Coalition for Resilience (1BC), Localization of actions, Migration, and Preparation for the Statutory Meeting.
Under the Manila Call For Action, the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of Asia – Pacific region are committed to Engaging Local Humanitarian Action in a Fast – Changing World.
These National Societies are also committed to adopting a community – centered approach that focuses on strengthening engagement with partners, branches and communities decentralizing management and resources allocation by National Societies, in line with localization.
The One Billion Coalition for Resilience (1BC), on the other hand, is an initiative introduced and designed by the IFRC to scale-up community and civic action on resilience.
Within the next 10 years, the goal is to engage at least one billion people in every household around the world in active steps towards strengthening their resilience.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has advanced farther in its goal of breaking boundaries among girls and young women who experience challenges posed by social stereotypes and misconception on menstruation.
PRC and Johnson and Johnson, the company behind Modess, officially launched a partnership that aims to reach out to 500,000 students from over 400 schools nationwide by educating them on proper menstrual hygiene.
“Young women experience difficulties because of lack of knowledge on menstrual hygiene. It bars them from doing what they have to do. Children often skip classes because they are scared of being teased. It is important that everyone will be properly educated—boys and girls alike,” PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla said.
Under the partnership, PRC and Modess will visit schools to hold dialogues and activities to create normalcy and supportive environment for women and girls.
Among the challenges that will be addressed are lack of information, cultural taboos, and anxiety.
“It is our duty to help people understand menstruation. Our partnership with PRC aims to end stigma that had haunted women for years. Together, we want girls to be comfortable,” Raghu Krishnan, President and Managing Director of Johnson and Johnson, said.
The partnership launch was part of Modess’ Move Camp 2019, a gathering of young Filipinos who call for an end to stigma, led by celebrity ambassadors Maymay Entrata, Bella Racelis, Hazel Quing, Kianna Dy, Jai Asuncion, and Agassi Ching.
PRC, through its Water Sanitation and Hygiene Unit, has been actively promoting menstrual hygiene management in schools, communities, and disaster-stricken areas.
Last May, PRC conducted nationwide community-based activities that highlight the need for collaborative action to mainstream menstrual education.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC)’s dengue epidemic response operations received a major boost with a P1 million grant from GT Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Metrobank Group.
Chairman Richard Gordon said the timely contribution enables PRC to reach more communities affected by the dengue epidemic, which has now taken 958 lives and infected 229,736 individuals.
“We have a long-standing partnership with the Metrobank Group that mirrors our shared commitment to alleviate the suffering of the people. Thank you, Metrobank and GT Foundation, for once again trusting us. This is for our country that is now facing a crisis due to dengue,” Gordon said.
PRC will utilize the funds to further implement its three-point strategy against dengue epidemic: decongest hospitals by setting up medical tents; ensure supply of quality and adequate blood; and, conduct massive information and cleanup drives through its 104 chapters nationwide.
To date, PRC has assisted 3,231 patients through its 10 medical tents in most affected hospitals in Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Cavite, and Iligan. PRC also dispensed 330 blood products for patients with dengue hemorrhagic cases.
Metrobank Group, as PRC’s institutional partner, has collaborated with the organization in reaching out to disaster-stricken communities and expanding its capacity.
During Gordon’s birthday last August, the Metrobank Foundation donated P200,000 to support the PRC ambulance Samaritan program.
PRC also received P2.4 million, which represented the proceeds of Metrobank Group’s appeal to donate to the organization in lieu of flowers for the late philanthropist Dr. George SK Ty.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) shows no letup in addressing the dengue crisis as it deployed more medical tents and blood products to support communities with a high number of dengue cases.
Under the leadership of Chairman Richard Gordon, PRC has treated 1,055 patients through its eight emergency medical tents that serve as extension wards and fast lanes in Iloilo, Capiz, and Aklan.
The medical tents are installed at most overcrowded hospitals namely Balasan District Hospital, Sara District Hospital and Guimbal District Hospital in Iloilo; Tapaz District Hospital and Bailan District Hospital in Capiz; and Aklan Provincial Hospital.
PRC recently opened a 60-bed medical tent at the Pagamutang Bayan ng Dasmarinas in the Province of Cavite, where 3,277 dengue cases have been recorded.
“Tens of thousands of patients continue streaming into overcrowded hospital. All hands are on deck to address this deadly epidemic. We set up medical tents, augment the blood supply in most affected provinces, and put our ambulances on standby,” Gordon said.
Gordon also assured that PRC, with the support of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, remains on full alert to supply the blood needs amid the declaration of a national epidemic.
As of August 8, PRC has supplied 330 units of blood supplies to over a hundred patients with hemorrhagic complications from Iloilo and Aklan.
On Wednesday, PRC National Headquarters sent 85 units of frozen blood products to Tacloban and Palawan after it augment 165 blood units to Iloilo and Aklan.
Gordon, who treats the dengue crisis as a “national emergency,” came up with a three-point strategy to address the dengue epidemic—deploy medical tents, maintain the adequacy of blood supply, and mobilize 143 volunteers to conduct cleanup efforts.
PRC maximizes its network of community volunteers through Red Cross 143 and Red Cross Youth programs to track down dengue and conduct clean-up efforts within a 400-meter radius where they are discovered.
“The real solution to dengue is a massive cleanup. The Red Cross is treating it as a national emergency because one dead is already one dead too many,” Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) formally unveiled two new ambulance units from the Security Bank Foundation, Inc. (SBFI) to further equip the organization’s emergency response efforts.
This brings the total number of ambulance units donated by SBFI over the past three years to five.
Chairman Richard Gordon, who led the turnover ceremony on Wednesday, said the additional ambulance units empower the Red Cross to assist more people affected by emergencies, such as fire incidents, vehicular crashes, medical emergencies, and disasters.
“As the preferred humanitarian partner, we assure SBFI that their support will reach the most vulnerable communities. This is a truly noble cause to help our countrymen in need of emergency medical services,” Gordon said as he expressed gratitude to SBFI Chairman Rafael Simpao, Jr. for consistently fueling the organization’s humanitarian drives.
The Red Cross has saved 1,889 people using the SBFI ambulances, including 674 people involved in road crash incidents and medical emergencies.
PRC, through its fleet of 154 ambulances, has rescued 46,451 individuals for 2019 alone.
Present during the turnover ceremony were PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, Assistant Secretary General Ramon Murillo, Blood Services Director Dr. Christie Monina Nalupta, Safety Services Acting Manager Von Ryan Ong, and SBFI Vice President Melissa Aquino.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) received a P5 million humanitarian contribution from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to support the PRC’s ambulance services.
During the turnover ceremony, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon expressed his gratitude to BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno for helping the Red Cross in saving more individuals in times of emergencies.
“Thank you for always trusting the Philippine Red Cross. We always make sure that the money and donations we humbly receive will reach the most vulnerable,” Gordon said.
The humanitarian contribution is primarily for operational expenses of the Red Cross’ ambulance services, which provides free transport for individuals affected by disasters and emergencies.
This year alone, PRC has catered to 46,173 individuals through its ambulance service program.
For 14 years, PRC and BSP have been collaborating to address the pressing needs of the most vulnerable communities.
In 2018, BSP, under the leadership of then-governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., contributed P2 million for the Red Cross’ Blood Samaritan Program, a program that shoulders the blood processing fee of qualified indigent patients.
PRC and BSP also hold joint mass blood donation annually.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on the move to help address the immediate needs in Itbayat, Batanes, which experienced successive earthquakes on Saturday.
PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, who led the organization’s response over the weekend, said the organization is focusing on providing psychosocial support, food, water, and temporary shelter for over 2,000 individuals who are displaced in an open ground in front of the municipal hall.
“We are assessing as we are giving. Right now we are focused on their immediate needs, but eventually, we will provide their long-term needs, such as houses,” Gordon said.
He added, “The operations is extra challenging as the remote island of Itbayat is a two-to-three-hour boat ride from Basco and can only be reached using small boats. But this will not slow us down. We are working with different organizations to ensure that aid will be given as fast as possible.”
PRC National Headquarters partnered with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy resources for in-depth assessments.
Among the items deployed are radio equipment, satellite phones, and water purification assets, composed of bladders, treatment units, and storage.
The humanitarian organization also sent thousands of ready-to-eat meals, temporary roofing materials, and water treatment units for the affected population.
Initial assessments show that there is a need for welfare and psychosocial support, especially for Ivatans who experienced trauma following the major shakes.
“The ground shaking was traumatic for Ivatans. Our welfare team is there to help people get rid of their trauma,” Gordon added.
PRC welfare teams also provided psychosocial support to injured patients at Basco General Hospital. PRC volunteers also distributed hot meals to 900 individuals on Saturday.
AMID THE declaration of dengue outbreak in Iloilo, Aklan, Cavite, Leyte, and South Cotabato, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) assures the public that it has adequate blood supply for dengue patients.
Chairman Richard Gordon said PRC, through its 93 blood service facilities nationwide, is working double-time to ensure the availability of blood supply, especially plasma and cryoprecipitate, which are used to prevent hemorrhagic complications associated with dengue.
“We keep track of the supplies in all our blood facilities in the country. In the event, the blood supply in a specific facility drops to a critical level, we will know immediately which nearby facility can provide additional products,” Gordon said.
PRC National Blood Services recently shipped a total of 165 units of frozen blood products to augment the supply in Iloilo and Aklan.
Aside from blood, PRC is also in the forefront of managing the dengue crisis as it deployed eight sets of emergency medical tents in Western Visayas Region.
PRC set up two of the deployed hospital tents, with a total bed capacity of 40, in Jesus M. Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan, Iloilo, which is currently accommodating over 250 patients against its actual bed capacity of 25.
The medical unit in Balasan has now served to 38 patients. The humanitarian organization is also preparing to set up more medical tents in Aklan, Capiz, and Guimaras.
Data from the Department of Health shows that the dengue crisis has affected 115,986 individuals this year.
“We have started to fill the gaps in the dengue outbreak response, but we have no plans to slow down. Much needs to be done to protect people’s lives. There is a need for a fast and consistent response,” Gordon said.
“Red Cross 143 volunteers are alerted to initiate community cleanup drives. As our eyes and ears on the ground, they are also tasked to report more cases of congestion of hospitals in their areas.”
IN CASE of a sudden cardiac arrest at home, at work, or in a public place, do you know what to do?
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is set to mobilize its staff and volunteers to conduct a mass cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration to equip Filipino families with this life-saving skill.
For this month, PRC will go to schools, offices, and public places to teach Filipinos how to conduct a hands-only CPR to mark the National CPR Day, on July 17, in cooperation with the Department of Health, the Philippine Heart Association, and the American Heart Association.
PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said the mass CPR demonstration is a preliminary effort to strengthen its call to have one first aider in every household and workplace.
“We have our volunteers nationwide, but no first responder can respond as quickly as a neighbor, a family member, and a co-worker. When that person knows first aid, further injuries and loss of lives can be averted,” Gordon said.
PRC has identified over 110 locations, which include schools, companies, and parks. PRC also tapped athletic leagues to perform whole CPR cycle.
The mass CPR campaign was conducted to maximize the Republic Act No. 10871 or the “Basic Life Support Training Schools Act,” which requires basic education students to undergo age-appropriate basic life-saving training.
PRC, as the leading first aid provider in the country, offers a wide range of first aid and basic life support training courses, including standard first and basic life support for all ages, occupational first aid and basic life support, emergency first aid, junior first aid, and water safety programs.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) intensified its information campaign concerning health problems to protect the people and the community from waterborne diseases, influenza, leptospirosis, and dengue these monsoon months.
PRC is reminding everyone to take extra precautions as this is the high-risk period during which infectious diseases spread easily. Communication materials, house to house visits and health seminars are part of the awareness campaign of the Red Cross.
“PRC’s 104 Chapters are all set, as are the staff and volunteers to organize health campaigns to raise awareness of the health hazards brought by the rainy season. These campaigns are always done in coordination with the local health centers and offices,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.
The Red Cross’ pool of community volunteers, known as 143 volunteers, are tasked to report directly to the chapters in case of verified outbreaks.
The PRC has sufficient supply of blood in its 93 blood centers nationwide to cater to the people in case there will be an outbreak of dengue, leptospirosis, or other health concerns.
Residents are encouraged to clean their surroundings especially possible breeding places of mosquitoes to avoid being infected with dengue virus. Suspected dengue symptoms are: high fever (40 degrees Celsius / 104 degrees Fahrenheit), skin rashes, severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and swollen glands. The next 24-48 hours with these symptoms are fatal. Proper medical care and attention are needed to avoid complications and death.
Leptospirosis can enter the body through open wounds, the eyes, or mucous membranes. Humans become infected through direct contact from the urine of infected animals like rodents. Symptoms are high fever, chills, headache, jaundice, diarrhea, fatigue, sore throat, joint and muscle pains, rashes, reddish eyes, and abdominal pains to Weil’s disease with organ dysfunction. Immediate medical attention is advised. People wading through flood waters are at a high risk of contracting this disease.
The general public is urged not to swim or dabble in flood water, use protection like umbrellas, raincoats, boots and gloves, boil tap water before drinking, drink fruit juices and plenty of water, get enough sleep and drink vitamin C to boost the immune system. It is also advisable to wear pajamas, long pants and long sleeves to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Strong insect-repellant lotion should also be applied to keep mosquitoes away.
“Let’s observe proper personal hygiene and keep our surroundings clean to steer away from these diseases,” added Gordon.
PRC is noted for its excellence in providing blood as well as safety, health, welfare, disaster management and other humanitarian services.
For emergencies, contact our 24/7 Operations Center. Dial 143 or 790-23-00 for assistance.