PRC receives two Advance Medical Post units from Qatar Red Crescent Society
Officials of the Philippine Red Cross and Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the latter's support for the PRC's projects for the affected families of tropical storm Washi ("Sendong") which hit the country last December. Among the components of the MOU concerns the QRCS' donation of two Advance Medical Post (AMP) units to the PRC.
During the turn over ceremony last Wednesday, March 7 in Manila, volunteers and officials of the QRCS demonstrated to an audience, comprised of PRC volunteers from various chapters, how the AMP is set up.
The AMP is composed of a standard-sized vehicle that looks like a small truck. Inside are two foldable and inflatable 42-square meter tents which can be set up within five minutes. Each tent can accommodate up to 100 patients at a time. Most importantly, the AMP includes medical equipment which can be used for the provision of first aid and simple surgical procedures. Other equipment in the AMP is electric generators, lights, water purifiers, air conditioning units. The AMP's basic supplies will last up to 21 days after their initial use.
The QRCS has used the AMP in Pakistan, Lebanon and Palestine.
During the turn over ceremony, PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Gordon extended his warmest gratitude to QRCS officials led by Head of Mission Rashid Saad Al-Muhanadi and Dr. Hassan Al-Yafi.
"We're most grateful to our colleagues and friends in the QRCS for their generous contribution towards helping the PRC improve its capabilities to provide immediate medical and humanitarian relief to civilians affected by natural disasters. The Filipino people will directly benefit from the transitional shelters we will build. The AMP units, in the meantime, are certain to prove most valuable in the field, especially in the far-flung areas hit by devastation and where not even the government's medical services are difficult to access," Gordon said.
Gordon said that the PRC is the first non-government organization in the Philippines to gain access and ownership of AMP units. He said that this all the more emphasizes the constant need for the PRC to strengthen its ties with other humanitarian organizations under the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRC).
PRC Secretary-General Gwendolyn Pang, for her part, said that the PRC will continue its efforts to reach the greatest number of Filipinos affected by calamities.
"Our slogan and rallying call remains 'Always First, Always Read, Always There.' The PRC exists to serve, and our goal is always to improve our services for those who are in immediate need of emergency relief assistance," she said.
Gordon also announced that the AMP units will be immediately deployed to Cebu where an outbreak of dengue has been reported. Based on media reports, the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) is already providing antibiotics and other medication to the residents, but more efforts are needed to be done to stop the bacterial disease from spreading.