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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.

FOLLOWING the recent cases of preventable casualties and injuries in workplaces, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard Gordon reminded all business establishments to have trained first aiders who will look after the safety of their employees.

Gordon expressed concern over the alleged absence of trained first aiders and ambulance when veteran actor Eddie Garcia got into an incident during shooting.

He added that the incident is a call for business owners to follow the provisions under the Republic Act (RA) 11058 or the “Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) Standards,” which mandates business owners to have workers undertake first aid training from PRC or any recognized organization.

“There could have been better chances of survival if Eddie’s case was handled properly. There should be a schooled way of saving lives whenever such preventable incident happened. The Red Cross is calling on companies, regardless of size and industries, to have trained first aiders in every establishment,” Gordon said.

In Garcia’s case, a trained individual could have immediately assessed whether he was conscious or unconscious, as well as confirmed if it was cardiac arrest. Moreover, somebody could have assessed possible injuries and call appropriate help.

The proper way of handling such cases is to identify if there is a reason to suspect spine injury. Then, the first aider should prevent the movement of the head and neck of the patient by manually stabilizing and applying cervical collar. This could prevent worsening of injury until an ambulance arrives. Signs of life must also be monitored.

The Red Cross offers first aid training designed to meet the needs of companies and communities, including standard first aid and basic life support, occupational first aid, emergency first aid, junior first aid, and water safety.

PRC, with its fleet of 150 ambulances and thousands of trained first aiders, could also be tapped to provide on-site first aid and emergency services, including mass gatherings, sporting events, and festivals.

PRC is also calling on homeowners’ associations to conduct first aid training for maids and drivers to ensure household safety.

“The public should know that the Red Cross is ready to offer its first aid and ambulance services for a reasonable amount—enough to sustain our operations that require fuel and maintenance costs. We want to build a culture of safety among Filipinos by having one trained first aider in every household,” he added.

For inquiries on first aid training and ambulance services, call 790-2300 or send an email to safetytraining@redcross.org.ph.

IN AN effort to bring humanitarian initiatives closer to the public, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) opens a new branch in Novaliches, which will serve as an extension of the Quezon City Branch.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, who led the inauguration ceremony last June 18, said the opening of the Novaliches branch will provide easier access to different PRC services, including blood, health, safety, and disaster management.

“Quezon City is the biggest city in Metro Manila. It is only fitting to have a Red Cross branch in every district. We also aim to strengthen the Red Cross 143 program here in Novaliches to have a pool of community volunteers who will be our eyes and ears in times of disasters and emergencies,” Gordon said.

Gordon also commended PRC Governor and Quezon City Chairman Ernesto Isla for actively leading the development of the local chapter.

“Help humanity out of duty, not out of credit. Live by our mantra ‘Always First, Always Ready, Always There.’ If you know this, you will never be a watcher or a spectator, but a leader,” Gordon told the volunteers.

Present in the inauguration were Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, Chapter Administrator Amparo Perez, QC Chapter Board of Directors, and staff and volunteers.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) swiftly aided individuals affected in a vehicular crash involving a passenger van in Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu, Batangas last June 24.
PRC treated five passengers who obtained minor injuries such as abrasions on forehead and hips.
A 27-year-old passenger who got multiple injuries, swelling, and numbness was also transported to Medical Center Western Batangas for further medical care.
Chairman Richard Gordon lauded the staff and volunteers from PRC Batangas-Nasugbu for quickly responding to the incident.
The passenger van was bound to Batangas from Manila.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) assures its readiness to supply water to critical establishments that could be affected by the impending water shortage in Metro Manila as the water level in Angat Dam nears critical level.

Chairman Richard Gordon gave orders to prepare PRC’s fleet of water tankers and water treatment equipment following National Water Resources Board (NWRB)’s announcement that Angat Dam’s water level continues to decline—down to 162.39 meters as of Monday.

“Just like last March, we are prepared to deploy our water tankers to supply water to most critical establishments, especially hospitals. We have 20 water tankers in Metro Manila that are capable of filling up high-pressure water systems,” Gordon said.

If the water level in Angat Dam dips further, PRC will prioritize hospitals to ensure that healthcare services will not be interrupted and to avoid health complications, such as sepsis, diarrhoea, and other hygiene-related diseases.

During the first wave of water crisis last March to April, PRC was able to supply 1,435,475 liters of clean and safe water to hospitals such as National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, National Center for Mental Health, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.

PRC also served affected communities, Brgy. Old Balara and Brgy. Culiat in Quezon City; Brgy. Nangka and Brgy. Tumana in Marikina; and Brgy. Addition Hills in Mandaluyong.

PRC is equally active in the provinces especially affected by dry spells, including Catanduanes, Iram (Olongapo), Cebu, Zamboanga, and Albay.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) aided the fishermen on board the Filipino fishing vessel rammed by a Chinese boat on June 9 in the West Philippine Sea.

PRC, through the Occidental Mindoro Chapter, mobilized a volunteer doctor to assess the fishermen’s medical condition and put an ambulance on standby to attend to medical emergencies. A welfare desk was set up and provided psychosocial support to 21 fishermen manning the FB GEM-VER, allegedly sank by a Chinese boat in Reed Bank.

“We are thankful that no Filipino fishermen obtained major injuries. We are now closely coordinating with local government units and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to assess their needs,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

Meals were distributed to the fishermen and their families who welcomed them back on June 14.

“PRC initially provided psychosocial support to the affected fishermen to address the distress the incident has caused,” Gordon added.

The humanitarian organization is looking at extending its welfare support to the community as the incident may also spark fear among other fishermen groups.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) solidifies its commitment to deliver safe, quality, and adequate blood supply to Filipinos as it launched more blood service facilities outside Metro Manila.

In line with the celebration of the 2019 World Blood Donors Day (WBDD), PRC Chairman Richard Gordon announced that the organization opened new blood collection units/blood stations in Albay, Bogo, Mountain Province, and Calamba.

This year’s WBDD celebration carries the theme “Safe Blood for All,” a call to expand access to safe and quality blood and the crucial role of voluntary blood donation in the Universal Health Care.

“In PRC, we aim to create more blood banks and blood centers for accessibility of blood supply. We want to reach the most vulnerable communities in the rural areas in our country to ensure that there is SAFE BLOOD FOR ALL,” Gordon said in a press conference last June 10.

The humanitarian organization currently has 93 blood service facilities, including 27 blood centers, 66 blood collecting units/blood stations, and 11 apheresis centers.

This year, PRC eyes new blood facilities in San Carlos in Pangasinan, San Rafael and Bocaue in Bulacan, Imus and Bacoor in Cavite, and Romblon.

PRC appeals to the public to help save lives by regularly donating blood.

“Mahalaga ang ating mga blood donors. Everyone should try and encourage everyone to donate blood dahil araw-araw ay libu-libong tao ang nangangailangan ng dugo sa buong bansa. Everyday should be World Blood Donor’s Day,” Gordon said.

PRC, as a major provider of blood needs in the country, served a total of 205,772 individuals in 2018.

PRC’s National Blood Center also earned the international standard on quality management systems (ISO 9001:2015, making PRC the first blood center in Southeast Asia and the only non-hospital blood service facility in the Philippines to receive the certification.

Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard Gordon raises alarm over the rising cases of HIV this year—noting that lack of action may affect the supply of quality blood products in the country.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported that 38 new cases of HIV were recorded on a daily basis in 2019, a significant rise from the 32-per-day rate in 2018.

“I personally receive calls from people from different provinces, most of them crying and appealing for blood and we strive to meet their needs. If the number of HIV cases continues to rise, our country’s blood supply could be affected,” Gordon said.

This year, PRC is integrating a nucleic acid test (NAT) to its system to allow accurate and more sensitive detection of HIV contraction among applicant donors.

Gordon said PRC prioritizes the integration of NAT into its blood testing system in its blood service facilities in the National Capital Region, where 30 percent of the new cases were registered.

“NAT testing will reduce the Filipino population’s exposure to HIV. We should take action. Let us intensify our HIV prevention campaign through peer education,” Gordon said.

DOH’s latest HIV/AIDS Registry shows that in March alone, there were 1,172 new cases reported, with 215 of them in advanced stage or AIDS. The figure brings the total number of cases this year to 3,434.

Gordon made the statement in line with the celebration of the 2019 World Blood Donors’ Day with the theme “Safe Blood for All,” a call to solidify access to safe and quality blood supply.

PRC now has 93 blood service facilities, including 27 blood centers, 66 blood collecting units/blood stations, and 11 apheresis centers.

The organization recently established blood facilities in Albay, Bogo, Mountain Province, and Calamba. PRC is also eyeing new blood stations in San Carlos, Pangasinan; San Rafael, Bulacan; Bocaue, Bulacan; Imus, Cavite; Bacoor, Cavite; and Romblon.

PRC, as one of the top providers of blood needs in the country, served a total of 205,772 individuals last year.

PRC’s National Blood Center also earned the international standard on quality management systems (ISO 9001:2015, making PRC the first blood center in Southeast Asia and the only non-hospital blood service facility in the Philippines to receive the certification.

THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is set to revisit the municipality of Baggao in Cagayan Province to grant agricultural and livelihood assistance to 493 families affected by the destruction brought by Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong).

PRC will return to Cagayan on June 14 to lead the distribution of up to P10,000 household livelihood assistance to 436 families and P15,000 household agricultural assistance to 57 families from Baggao, where Mangkhut made landfall in September 2018.

“We continue to live by our motto—when the world no longer watches, we do what must be done. The Red Cross does not settle for providing the needs of the people. We aim to transform lives. This is why we want to enable them to start anew,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

Cagayan Province is the worst hit by Typhoon Ompong. Data from the PRC Operations Center show 132,074 houses were fully or partially damaged—with over 15,912 individuals displaced during the onslaught of the typhoon.

The province also suffered at least P4.4 billion in agricultural damages as 100 percent of corn crops and 64 percent of rice products were lost.

“When we visited Baggao last year, we witnessed how devastated the people were. We saw houses with blown roofs and damaged crops. This motivated us to continue working on the situation,” he added.

In partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the recovery program targets farmers with less than one hectare of cultivable land, as well as farm laborers and households who belong under the social vulnerability criteria.

For the first installment of the program, PRC will provide P6,000 to livelihood grantees and P8,000 for the agricultural beneficiaries. The full amount will be given once the monitoring is completed.

Last September, Gordon led the distribution of CGI sheets and shelter toolkits to 393 households from Baggao and basic household items to 355 families from Gattaran.

Since then, PRC has provided as much as P15,000-livelihood assistance to 893 families in Cagayan and as much as P54,000 cash assistance to 181 families whose houses were fully damaged.

The president of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) hailed Sen. Richard Gordon for upholding humanitarian principles in his concurrent capacities as the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and as a senator of the Philippines.

Peter Maurer, who visited the country last June 3 to 4, described Gordon as an “advocate of the Red Cross principles” and “an enabling politician” who design legislations that are compatible with the International Humanitarian Law.

“Richard, whenever we discuss, you always highlight that when you are a Red Cross, you are a Red Cross. When you are a senator, you are a senator. I like both of them,” Maurer said. “To have a Red Cross chairman in the legislative body of such an important country like the Philippines is a great asset. And I wanted to thank you wholeheartedly, Richard, for leading this way.”

Maurer lauded the Gordon-sponsored Community Service Act, which allows courts to sentence offenders with community work instead of serving jail time if the offense is punishable by arresto menor and arresto mayor.

The proposed Community Service Act that recently passed the third and final Senate reading compliments ICRC’s call to secure a humane, safe, and healthy environment for detainees as it will address decongestions in jails.   

Gordon earlier said the measure will address humanitarian crisis posed by jail congestions, such as improper hygiene, overcrowding, lack of sufficient sanitary facilities, and detainees’ vulnerability to communicable diseases.

Maurer also extolled Gordon’s effort to promote the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s bid to eradicate mass destruction when he authored a resolution to support the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s call to eliminate nuclear weapons.

He also praised Gordon for effectively leading PRC, which he considers as a “reputational pride” in the Movement.

“We are deeply convinced that there are National Societies which are simply outstanding and I think you are an outstanding national society. In operational response, in what you have done in developing. We are very proud to be your partner: to fill in the gaps, to learn from you, and to drive this movement forward,” Maurer said.

Last June 3, Maurer and Gordon held an official visit Marawi to express solidarity with the survivors of the firefights in 2017.

“When we visited the ground-zero in Marawi, we were overwhelmed by the resiliency that the Maranaos showed us. Ito ang fighting spirit na gusto nating ibahagi sa mundo: PAG-ASA AT PAGKAKAISA,” Gordon said.

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Always FIRST, Always READY, Always THERE.

Philippine Red Cross

37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Hotline: 143
Trunkline +63 2 790 2300
Email: communication@redcross.org.ph
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