THE Philippine Red Cross swiftly mobilized its resources to help the victims of the twin bombings at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, especially the patients in need of blood.
PRC chairman Richard Gordon immediately called an emergency meeting last Sunday to facilitate actions, as well as coordinate with the local government unit and hospitals that had wounded patients.
“There are no sides for the Red Cross. The humanity must win. We pray and commiserate with our soldiers, fellow citizens and their families who have suffered from this bombings. We are acting at the Red Cross now. All chapters are on full alert,” Gordon said.
PRC National Headquarters sent a total of 151 blood units from the National Blood Centers and PRC Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga-Sibugay Chapters to augment the blood supply in Zamboanga City and Sulu Chapters.
Twenty six blood units were immediately airlifted from the Zamboanga City Chapter to Sulu on Sunday.
As of January 27, PRC has provided 26 blood units for patients in IPHO Sulu Provincial Hospital, three units in Camp Bautista Hospital, three units in Ciudad Medical Zamboanga, and five units in Zamboanga Doctors Hospital.
Aside from blood services, staff members and volunteers from Zamboanga and Sulu Chapters immediately responded to the blast site and provided first aid and transported 10 patients to the nearby hospitals for medical assistance.
First aid stations and welfare desks were also set up at the Cathedral and the Western Mindanao Command to assist the victims.
The National Headquarters sent additional 50 cadaver bags to give dignity to the deceased.
Among those who sustained injuries was a staff member from the PRC Sulu Chapter who was attending mass at the Mount Carmel Cathedral, with his wife, when the explosion happened.
PRC is in close coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross for further actions.