The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) attended to a total of 1,906 devotees with minor and major injuries during this year’s Traslacion, the culmination of the celebration of the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene.
Seven patients were immediately transported by Red Cross ambulances to hospitals near the area for advanced medical attention including a 17-year old boy with suspected neck and spine injury.
Of the total number, 127 were considered as major cases, which include difficulty of breathing, fainting, body weakness, seizure and fracture.
The PRC served a total of 708 patients with minor medical cases such as dizziness, lacerations, abrasions, vomiting, toothache, body pain, fatigue, abdominal pain and sprain. Majority of them had their wounds dressed by the PRC. At least 854 patients also had their blood pressures checked and monitored by the PRC.
All of these cases were brought to the nine Red Cross first aid stations scattered along the procession route and at the emergency medical unit (EMU), a tent hospital with surgical capacity, which is set up at the KKK Monument beside the Manila City Hall.
The PRC mobilized 10 volunteer doctors from the Philippine Medical Association, Philippine College of Surgeons, Tondo General Hospital and Mary Johnston Hospital, as well as 30 nurses from the Philippine Nurses Association.
"The Philippine Red Cross never fails to support this beautiful Filipino tradition by providing life-saving measures to the devotees. This wouldn’t be possible without the hard work & sacrifice of all our volunteers and staff throughout the archipelago, who worked tirelessly even before the day of the feast. We are all proud to have you in the Philippine Red Cross,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
Aside from giving medical assistance, the PRC also assisted 210 people in tracing their missing companions through its Restoring Family Links (RFL) program, and provided psychosocial support.
A total of 2,000 Red Cross personnel and volunteers were deployed in key areas along the procession path to ensure visibility so that devotees can easily approach them in case they need medical attention or assistance.
Red Cross from nearby chapters also participated and sent manpower, volunteers, equipment and vehicles for the whole operations.
The PRC mobilized a total of 58 ambulances that were stationed around the procession path, along with two Humvees, a 6x6 truck, one fire truck, and eight rescue trucks.
An amphibian and three rescue boats were also deployed along the Pasig river, as well as five utility vehicles, one MRV (Motorized Rescue Vehicle) and two motorcycles. All of which, together with its staff and volunteers are capable to respond in the event of a mass casualty incident.
The PRC Operations Center reported a slightly lower number of patients catered this year compared to last year's 2,566 patients.
The procession of the image of the Black Nazarene, which started early morning of January 9 at the Quirino Grandstand and ended at the Quiapo Church on January 10 around 3:00 AM, lasted for 22 hours.
Aside from the Traslacion, the PRC is also continuously providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by various disasters such as the previous storms Urduja, Vinta and Agaton which the Visayas and Mindanao, and the Marawi crisis.
The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready and always there to provide round-the-clock humanitarian assistance, especially to the most vulnerable.
Aside from disaster responses, PRC’s other services include health, welfare, safety, blood, volunteer service, and Red Cross youth.