Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) realised, during the year 2019, a lot of achievements and maintained its leadership in the various fields of humanitarian and social work at the level of Qatar and the world.
QRCS held effective partnerships with various international humanitarian organisations and came at the forefront of civil society institutions that contribute with the dedication to achieving the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.
The development activities of QRCS within Qatar witnessed remarkable progress during the year 2019, as the number of beneficiaries of these activities exceeded 53,465 people from the various caring groups of the community, such as widows, orphans, patients, school students, in addition to the QRCS volunteers of both sexes.
In this regard, the social welfare department continued to provide various types of social assistance to groups in need of support, through the humanitarian services fund, which provided various economic assistance to benefit 5,459 vulnerable families who are unable to meet their basic needs, or who have been subjected to emergency conditions, for example, a fire or an accident.
The volunteer and local development sector of the QRCS issued a guide to the humanitarian services fund, specifying the standards, policies, and procedures that regulate the relationship between those in charge of the program and its beneficiaries.
The guide constitutes a general framework for the administrative governance of the program, as part of the QRCSs strategy to ensure the highest degree of efficiency and transparency in operational and administrative operations.
Concerning the patient benefit fund, it has contributed to extending medical and educational coverage to 13,495 beneficiaries so far, including about 9,000 beneficiaries of social and health support, 1,100 beneficiaries of curative assistance, and 3,395 beneficiaries of the Iftar meal, which was held during the holy month of Ramadan.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Qatar Scientific Club, vocational training workshops were organized for the inmates of penal and correctional institutions in the areas of welding, metal, electrical installations, and refrigeration and air-conditioning work. This is part of the "Imdaad" program, which benefited 116 inmates, in addition to 200 beneficiaries of the social support and self-development courses that were offered to the families of inmates and their families.
The volunteer section, which includes so far more than 4,800 volunteers, both Qataris and residents, has participated in the implementation of many activities and events, external and internal services, with a total of 15,437 volunteer hours.
The section held 29 training and professional courses to build the capacity of volunteers, attended by 826 trainees and created a website called "TimeBank" to exchange volunteer hours between individuals.
About medical services, QRCS expanded its services during the aforementioned year, and witnessed major developments, including the introduction of innovative medical devices, and an increase in the number of licensed and qualified medical staff at the highest level, as well as holding more training courses to improve employee performance and adopting a more comprehensive operating protocol.
According to a report issued by the QRCS, the emergency medical services division owns a fleet of 49 fully equipped ambulances, whether of large size, SUVs or small cars, noting that the department is committed to providing high-quality emergency medical services, including ambulance services, medical clinics, first aid units, sugar tests and body mass measurements.
To secure workers in private sector companies, ambulances are provided around the clock, as ambulance crews also contributed to securing 289 different events from conferences, exhibitions, sports, social and school activities, while at the level of mass events, many gatherings and festivals were secured.
Throughout the week, QRCS runs first aid centres in some malls, as well as conducting sugar and biometrics checks and providing health education to mosque-goers during the holy month of Ramadan, QRCS covered this year 743 cases in many mosques in the country.
According to the statistics of 2019, QRCS provides high-quality health care through qualified and varied medical kits, as nearly 6 thousand patients benefited from its emergency services in the field, while the interest in continuing medical education is increasing, in terms of developing knowledge and skills among medical personnel, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and Aspetar Hospital, to exchange experiences and keep abreast of developments and rapid changes in the field of providing medical services.
QRCS is also concerned with the continuous professional growth of medical personnel, as this year the number of beneficiaries reached 82, in addition to 335 trainees who attended lectures and practical scenarios to deal with illness and accidents, while its training and development center offers accredited programs from the American Heart Association and the Qatar Council for Health Specialisations at the Ministry of Public Health. The accredited programs include infection prevention, monitoring the teaching of basic competencies, the basics of preserving life, assessing direct observation skills in the wound care room, the basics of prevention and accident management, supporting advanced cardiovascular life, understanding patient safety, preparedness for the survey, first aid, and disaster management programs.
The report monitored 370 beneficiaries of the medical and educational services provided by the training and development center, from ministries, governmental and semi-governmental institutions, banks, universities, factories, government and private schools, private sector companies, hotels, sports clubs, research and scientific centers, charitable and social organizations, and youth centers.
Also, QRCS is interested in health education programmes to spread awareness and preventive health concepts among members of society, through holding events such as interviews, seminars, lectures and conferences, distributing flyers and brochures posters, and participating in various exhibitions.
In 2019, the community health education team at QRCS participated in 11 events in partnership with various entities and institutions, and provided 215 educational lectures that benefited more than 12,000 people.
Throughout 2019, QRCS provided humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of millions of afflicted and vulnerable people in many countries, and implemented dozens of relief and development and aid projects that benefited nearly 17 million people in 16 Asian and African countries.
Furthermore, QRCS is a member of the international humanitarian movement that includes the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and national societies in 191 countries around the world. It is also a member of many Gulf, Arab, and Islamic organizations such as the Islamic Committee of the International Crescent and the Arab Organisation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. QRCS can attain to its legal capacity access to conflict and disaster areas, thus supporting Qatar in its humanitarian efforts.
QRCS provides support to the vulnerable and afflicted by natural disasters, armed conflict ,and poverty, in light of its mission to secure lives and safeguard human dignity. Its relief activities outside Qatar include food, drinking water, sanitation units, rain covers, urgent shelter, mobile clinics, ambulance teams, hospital support with medicines and medical devices, psychological support, and restoring family links, among others.
As for external development activities, QRCS helps in establishing, rehabilitating and operating hospitals and health centres, sending medical and surgical convoys, rehabilitating the damaged infrastructure, achieving food security, supporting livelihoods, and spreading a culture of peace and coexistence.
QRCS' foreign missions, 22 offices and missions, have implemented humanitarian projects and programs in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nepal, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Palestine, Yemen, Mauritania, Sri Lanka, and Iraq. It also has more than 100 active partnerships with government institutions, NGOs, the private sector, and international humanitarian organizations.
With regard to medical convoys, QRCS expanded in 2019 the number of these convoys, which provide treatment services for poor patients, and perform surgical operations for them in many medical specialties, in addition to equipping the hospitals with equipment and surgical supplies, and training medical personnel on the latest developments in the field of medicine.
Since the beginning of the year, QRCS sent 10 medical convoys, which contributed to treating more than 5,000 patients and performed more than 800 surgeries in the fields of orthopedics, pediatric cardiac catheterisation, general surgery, urology, ENT surgery, eye diseases and blindness treatment.
The convoys, which costed QR 3.5 million, included the West Bank, the Gaza Strip (twice), Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Turkey (twice), and Sudan (3 times), bringing the total number of medical convoys over the past two years to 19 convoys treated nearly 12,000 patients and performed 1,761 surgeries, with a total budget of more than QR 6 million.
With the advent of the winter season, the warm winter campaign was launched under the slogan "your kindness is mercy", which aims to provide shelter, food, winter clothing, and heating facilities for more than 250,000 beneficiaries, whether from expatriate labor in Qatar, or those affected by disasters, wars, storms and famines in Palestine, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia.
For the 17th consecutive year, Ramadan campaigns were carried out this year and included the implementation of various humanitarian projects in 22 countries around the world at a cost exceeding QR 48 million, including 18 fasting iftar projects in 11 countries throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
QRCS and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) launched a joint initiative to support Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip and neighboring countries, through a global humanitarian campaign during the holy month of Ramadan, with the aim of mobilising support and help provide the necessary funding as much as possible to ensure the continuity of the work of UNRWA, and enable it to serve more Palestinians, as part of an initiative launched by HE UN Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Muraikhi.
Cover image credit: Sudan Daily
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