0.1m blood donors & state-of-the-art Red Crescent Labs across Pakistan

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The Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) will register one hundred thousands blood donors besides establishing 121 state-of-the-art laboratories with blood donor centers across the country.

This was stated by PRC Chairman Dr Saeed Elahi while addressing the launching ceremony of Red Crescent Laboratories and Blood Donor Centers at Fatima Jinnah Auditorium, National Headquarters Islamabad. He said that blood donation is a specialty of PRC and registration of 0.1 million blood donors is a new inclusion in our vision of achieving 5 million volunteers by 2020. Dr Saeed Elahi said that the newly established labs are as per international standards and patients will be offered discounts on all kinds of medical tests. Talking about the new initiative, he said that PRC will soon start blood screening tests in jails and in this regard a pilot project is already underway at Adiala Jail where around 5000 people would get benefited from lab services.

 While addressing the ceremony, PRC Secretary General Ghulam Muhammad Awan said that PRC Blood Donor Center has launched a joint venture with Gulf Marketing International for lab expansion. He said latest technologies and up to date equipment for all sorts of lab tests will be installed in phase 1 of expansion while radiography such as X-Ray, CT scan, MRIs will also be included in phase 2 of expansion. He said that these labs are well equipped and capable to perform 2000 different lab tests.

Chief Executive Gulf Marketing International Rana Muhammad Shafiq said that it is indeed a historic moment for him and his company to join hands with PRC in this humanitarian cause.

Speaking at the occasion, Chief Guest and former Commandant Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Major General (Retd) Farooq Ahmed said that it is a memorable occasion for him. He lauded the efforts and vision of Chairman PRC and said that initiatives such as these will help the humanity to a great extent. At the end of ceremony, Dr. Saeed Elahi presented shields to Dr. Asma Cheema, Ms. Uzma Yaqoob, Dr. Wasifa and to Chief Guest Maj. Gen. (Retd) Farooq Ahmed.

Later, Maj. Gen. Retd. Farooq Ahmed inaugurated the first Red Crescent Lab along with PRC management while IFRC Head of Delegation Ghorkhmaz Huseynov and  ICRC Michael Myers were also present on the occasion.

PRC to setup Cardiac Hospital, First Aid Kiosks to meet any emergency in Quetta

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The Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) will setup a state-of-the-art cardiac hospital in Quetta with the support of overseas Pakistanis besides establishing First Aid Kiosk to meet any on toward situation. This was stated by Chairman PRC Dr Saeed Elahi after his meeting with Chief Minister Balochistan Sardar Sanaullah Zehri at CM House Quetta.

Dr Saeed Elahi said that the Chief Minister Balochistan appreciated the humanitarian services of the PRC in mitigating the suffering of the vulnerable, especially during Quetta Civil Hospital blast. He said the PRC was the first to reach the blast site and six ambulances, para-medics and volunteers led by provincial branch secretary Dr Imran carried out the rescue operation besides donating blood for the injured. He said that CM has also announced 500,000 rupees to ERT (Emergency Response Team) of PRC to appreciate timely effected rescue operations to Civil Hospital blast.

Dr Saeed Elahi said that CM Balochistan has assured his full support to PRC activities and broadening its network to the most affected areas. He said that the organization will provide medicines to Basic Health Units (BHUs) of the province. He expressed that PRC will revive its district branches including Loralai, Sibi and Kharan.

One of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history took place in Quetta on 8th August 16 Monday morning at Civil Hospital Quetta taking around 70 precious lives and leaving dozens injured.

PRC was instantly informed and ERT (Emergency Response Team) PRC staff under supervision of PRC Secretary Balochistan Dr. Imran rushed to the spot along with six ambulances. PRC team gave First Aid to the injured, shifted them to other hospitals and transported dead bodies as well.

Dr. Imran lost his cousin Farooq Badini too in this occurrence but he along with his team kept conducting rescue operation by the end of the day.

PRC to install 10 solar water pumps in Tharparkar

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The Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) Sindh with the support of Canadian Red Cross (CRC) is installing 10 solar power water pumps under the project “Provision of Solar Powered Water Pumps with Hygiene Promotion in District Tharparkar, Sindh”. The proposed project aims to provide safe drinking water by using alternative energy to improve health, hygiene and the overall well-being of villagers.

A delegation of CRC visited the selected villages with the team of PRC Sindh that included CRC Program Manager (Pak /Afg) Ms. Jennifer Olson, CRC Program Officer (Pak /Afg) Ms. Andrea Peters, CRC Country Representative in Pakistan Dr M. Khalid, and PRC-NHQ Secretary General Ghulam Muhammad Awan and PRC-Sindh Provincial Secretary Kanwar Waseem.

Secretary General Ghulam Muhammad Awan said that Tharparkar comprises of an area of 22,000 square kilometers with a population of more than 1.4 million and about 5 million livestock heads. The primary source of drinking water is underground wells. Easy access to safe drinking water is an acute problem in District Tharparkar affecting the life style, health and livelihood of the local communities.

The PRC and CRC teams visited four villages including Bhar Milio, Sagror, Verijhup and Vekunja and had discussions with the local people regarding their needs and the solar pumps is a step to provide clean water to the peopl.

PRC Provincial Secretary Kanwar Waseem also said that the Solar Power Water Pump project in Thar area will prove as a land mark. In this project, PRC will empower the communities to deal with and manage common illnesses and injuries through PRC network of trained Community Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA) volunteers and staff, mobilization of local resources, and building linkages with local health institutions.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human-made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and recovery efforts.

The mission of the Information Systems Operations Unit is to research, implement, and maintain high quality, secure technology solutions for PRCS. It also aims to develop and maintain a network of IT and Telecoms resources for disaster preparedness and/or response activities of the PRC besides assisting the National Society in capacity building. Moreover, it creates and deploys infrastructure standards within PRCS to support any situation before, during and after a disaster.

PRC is using the VHF & HF Radio Technology for the disasters and emergency. The IT department has already installed Radio Communications in all NHQ Ambulances and all the radio sets (30 x mobile and 30 VHF handy) are in good working condition. VHF Radio Handy Sets for the teams deployed in the emergency/disaster areas will be provided after getting approval from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Presently the VHF facility is functional in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar while HF facility is functional in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

PRCS IT Department has enough IT stock lists which can be made available to the various assessment teams being deployed for assessment and response. The unit has also mobile internet devices which can be used in field for communication in addition to the Thuraya Satellite Phones for communication in remote areas with no GSM or Radio signals.

To facilitate the response operation, IT Department has established an internal mass SMS service (online service via Zong) which will be active at the NHQ control room with unlimited SMS capacity to any network. This has been used for internal information sharing and operations updates. The unit also shall establish a generic email address which will be disseminated as part of feedback mechanism.

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