Bolivia

Opportune Social Response by the Bolivian Red Cross

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News and Press Release
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The Ministry of Health and Sports authorities informed the Red Cross that an important batch of donated vaccines were being held by Customs at the El Alto airport and were in risk of irreversible damage due to the fact that it was impossible to transport them to the safety of a cold storage.

The Red Cross immediately began talks with members of the Assembly of Neighbours from El Alto and the regional members of the Bolivian Workers Organisation, to explain the importance of facilitating the transportation of the aforementioned valuable vaccines, worth millions of US dollars.

Today, at midday, volunteers in two of our vehicles transported the important batch of vaccines to the Ministry of Health offices in La Paz. "This social response operative in emergency situations, is a protection factor at risk", said Dr. Walter Agreda from the Ministry of Health and Sports, as he thanked the work undertaken by our institution.

Reaching the El Alto airport had been a difficult task: the Red Cross team had had to avoid numerous blockades and persuade the protestors of the importance of their operative. The head of the Emergency Relief and Disasters Unit, Rubén Gonzáles, had his negotiation skills successfully put to the test; as in other occasions the work of our volunteers was highly important. Denes Benczedi, a delegate from the International Red Cross Committee, likewise participated in the task.

"We are experiencing difficult circumstances in Bolivia; but beyond our pre-hospital and first aid activities, the successful and opportune task undertaken in this instance, demonstrates that the Bolivian Red Cross is fulfilling its humanitarian mission and counts on the recognition of the population and respect for the Red Cross symbol on a white background", stated Dr. Abel Peña y Lillo as he congratulated the National Society Volunteers.