BHCUs turned over to PRC chapters

THE PHILIPPINE Red Cross (PRC) on Wednesday turned over basic health care units (BHCU)–disaster response hardware and trainings—to its Mindanao chapters with hopes of enhancing the capacity of the island in disaster response.

PRC chairman Richard Gordon, who flew to Davao to witness the ceremony and the culmination of the basic trainings, said that through BHCUs, local chapters of the Red Cross will be able to “provide immediate basic, essential, curative, preventive and community health care in emergency situations.”

BHCUs, he said, will be of great help in times when local medical facilities are insufficient or impaired during disasters.

“We have to be prepared because we have a buffer of disasters in the country,” he said. He added that they are constantly preparing for mass casualty incidents.

In events that involve large crowds, Red Cross staff, volunteers, rescue units and BHCUs and emergency field hospitals, could help give assistance in times of need.

The Canadian Red Cross funded the equipment (worth 80 million pesos) while the Japanese Red Cross provided technical support to make these “mobile” hospitals possible and available in Mindanao. These BHCUs and emergency field hospitals can serve as auxiliary hospitals when hospitals become overwhelmed with patients.

BHCU-trained personnel and several equipment will be distributed in the 31 chapters in Mindanao. There are at least three sets of BHCUs allotted for Mindanao: one for Zamboanga, one for Cagayan de Oro, and one for Davao. When brought together, BHCUs can accommodate 30 overnight beds. Other supplies and modules can also deliver services for outpatient, mother and child concerns, as well as primary health services for communities.

The training held by Red Cross last week produced 13 trainers and 35 BHCU-capable personnel.

In 2014, the PRC counted 40,000 volunteers capable of delivering first aid services in Manila. In 2015, there were 63,136 first aiders counted nationwide.

As of January 25, there are already 300 newly trained first aiders in the country, and 19 of these are from Mindanao. PRC has an annual target of producing 120,000 first aid-capable volunteers every year in the country.

Posted in Latest News