According to the latest data from the Philippine Red Cross’s (PRC) Operations Center, 30 barangays in Zamboanga City were affected by floods due to shear line-driven heavy rains. On 11 January, the PRC Zamboanga City Chapter distributed Doxycycline, a prophylactic agent used for the treatment of Leptospirosis, to 500 affected individuals in Barangay Guiwan and Barangay Pasonanca, Zamboanga City.
PRC Health Services explained that floodwater increases the exposure of communities to Leptospirosis and other water-borne diseases. An individual with open wounds or skin lesions can become infected through direct contact with water, soil, and mud contaminated with infected animal urine. Without immediate and proper treatment, Leptospirosis can damage kidneys and cause liver failure. Children and pregnant women, however, cannot take the medication.
“Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang napipilitang sumulong sa baha. Nagpadala tayo ng doxycycline sa Barangay Guiwan and Barangay Pasonanca para tulungan ang ating mga kababayan na protektahan ang kanilang sarili laban sa banta ng Leptospirosis. Nakatakda tayong magpadala pa ng sapat na supply ng doxycycline sa mga apektadong lugar para matulungan ang mas marami pang biktima ng baha sa Zamboanga,” said Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
Furthermore, heavy rains also displaced 1, 516 families in Western Samar, Masbate, Northern Samar, and Misamis Occidental. In line with this, the PRC placed its relief assets, equipment, and volunteers on standby to provide humanitarian assistance intuitively and rapidly to affected areas within the next 24 hours.
As of 10 January, the PRC has provided the following humanitarian aid to communities affected by shear line-induced rains since the Christmas weekend: 219,650 liters of clean and safe water through its water tankers and bladders, psychological first aid to 2,714 adults and children, hygiene education to 1,574 people, hygiene kits to 446 families, jerry cans to 355 families, water search and rescue to 201 individuals, including children, sleeping kits to 360 families, non-standard food ration and bread to 138 families, first aid services to 134 persons, and health education and medicines to 87 people.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is committed to supporting the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable. Recently, these most vulnerable came in the form of hundreds of Filipinos repatriated from Sabah, Malaysia. PRC provided relief and psychosocial assistance to these returning countrymen, a total of 1,129 individuals.
“PRC, together with its staff and volunteers, will continue assisting our kababayans returning from Sabah, Malaysia,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon.
PRC mobilized 21 personnel and delivered hot meals, bottled water, and face masks to returnees. In addition to three welfare desks set up in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, PRC provided Child-friendly Activities (CFA) and Psychological Support Program (PSP) to 154 individuals to ensure that affected people will receive the necessary assistance to cope with the situation. Meanwhile, 138 returnees from Zamboanga City participated in hygiene promotion.
PRC Welfare Services, under the Restoring Family Links (RFL) program, provided free calls to 110 individuals in Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga to restore and maintain contact between family members and returnees.
PRC undertakes a wide range of programs and activities prepared to ensure the safe and comfortable return of people overseas seeking repatriation.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has administered 11,263 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in Sulu province, through the PRC Mobile Bakuna Team, resulting in over 3,000 people fully inoculated and/or boosted. PRC Sulu Chapter Bakuna Team was deployed to support vaccination efforts at the Jolo Municipal Rural Health Unit, the Jolo Municipal Bakuna Center, and Barangay Bus-Bus Health Station.
Sulu is currently under Covid-19 alert level 2. Other places where PRC conducts vaccinations in Mindanao are Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City-Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Marawi City, and Zamboanga City.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of June 20, 2022, PRC has administered 1,199,452 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including boosters, in the whole country, fully vaccinating 373,631 persons.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon constantly encourages Filipinos to get vaccinated or boosted. “Ang aming chapters sa Red Cross ay patuloy na nagbabakuna laban sa Covid-19 upang maging ligtas ang lahat sa banta nito” Chairman Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Bakuna Centers, in partnership with local governments, has administered more than 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in Zamboanga City from 2021 to 2022, fully vaccinating 16,915 persons as of April 1, 2022.
This has been the contribution of the PRC to assist the city government of Zamboanga, which they announced on their Facebook page on April 3, saying that the city is now 90% fully vaccinated.
The Department of Tourism Office in the Zamboanga Peninsula has started promoting tourism in the region again, via its Facebook page, as the Philippines opened the country to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from all countries.
“Patuloy ang partnership ng Philippine Red Cross sa local government units para manatili tayong ligtas sa COVID-19,” the PRC Chairman and CEO, Senator Dick Gordon, said. He also stressed the importance of getting fully vaccinated and getting booster shots.