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Red Cross launches free blood pressure monitoring, sugar testing campaign

The Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) has launched a free blood pressure monitoring and sugar testing activities targeting at least 5,000 people in schools, communities and offices in Monrovia as part of celebration of its May Month.

The president of LNRCS Mr. Jerome Clark, II, announced Tuesday, 11 May at the institution’s office down Lynch Street that the institution is working to reactivate 30 of its school clubs in six counties for health and hygiene promotion, spreading humanitarian values and principles, and promoting leadership and self-esteem.

“Therefore, as we celebrate our May Month, I am pleased and honoured to launch our Free Blood Pressure Monitoring and Sugar testing activities targeting at least 5000 people in schools, communities and offices in Monrovia. This is just the beginning and based on the responses and support, we will continue and expand to other parts of the Country,” Mr. Clark said.

Mr. Clark said counties being targeted include Rivercess, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Nimba, Bomi and Montserrado. He said LNRCS will provide school clubs with sanitizer, hand washing bucket, laundry soap and nose masks. “While the situation with COVID-19 is improving, we must be [vigilant] and remain on the alert for other diseases,” Mr. Clark added.

According to him, the Red Cross will collaborate with Ecobank Liberia Limited to make donations of food and non-food items to at least ten vulnerable homes and it wholeheartedly appreciates the management of Ecobank for such a wonderful partnership and contribution to the May Month celebration.

“Our volunteers will work with communities and engage in clean-up campaign, awareness raising and provide other communities’ services during this Month of May,” he continued.
Mr. Clark noted that the LNRCS’ humanitarian actions are not only demonstrated in May but it expresses solidarity, offers hope and support everywhere for everyone at all times based on needs, but May is the time the institution celebrates the birth anniversary of the founder of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Mr. Clark expressed great excitement especially on the occasion marking the commemoration of this year’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, adding that Liberia is part of the over 192 countries around the World commemorating a Month-long humanitarian Actions in May.

“We are also grateful to the Liberian Government who recognized the importance of this global event and has issued a proclamation declaring the month of May as Red Cross and Red Crescent Month to be observed throughout the month,” he said.

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Mr. Clark said President George Manneh Weah who is also the Chief Patron of the Liberian Red Cross has further requested and called upon everyone and every institution in Liberia to not only observe the Red Cross Month but to fully participate in activities organized by the Red Cross to make the occasion more meaningful and rewarding.

“We are not only thrilled that the Government in its proclamation acknowledged our lifesaving humanitarian services, but we are further glad that the government has announced that it is renewing its sense of common purpose and honouring all those whose sacrifices have made the Liberian society more prepared, resilient, and united to address vulnerabilities across the country.”

He noted that vulnerable homes and communities need adequate support, people with disabilities, struggling parenting mothers and orphans are in dire need of special care and support to live without worry, adding that the community needs access to safe drinking water and better sanitation and hygiene.

“As the rainy season also steps in, let me remind you of unprecedented flooding that might hit communities after days of heavy downpour. Based on the history, we anticipate that communities will be flooded and community people be made homeless and there will be critical and urgent needs for food, health care, water and shelter support to affected communities,” he stated.

Mr. Clark laments that the resources that the Red Cross has are extremely limited to meet the current and anticipated needs in communities.

“Therefore, as we celebrate this year’s May month with special humanitarian actions, we are calling on government, corporate institutions, private organizations and international and local humanitarian actors for increasing support to the Liberian Red Cross to be able to sufficiently address local humanitarian needs in the areas of disaster preparedness and response, water and sanitation, Health, Hygiene, and Nutrition as well as Food Security and Livelihoods,” he noted.

He said the Red Cross understands that the government has competing priority demands, but the Red Cross as a humanitarian institution created by law needs to be sufficiently supported also through a direct budgetary allotment to enable it better deliver impartial humanitarian assistance to communities and affected people.

He called on Red Cross Chief Patron President George Manneh Weah to lead the campaign of resource mobilization and fundraising and ensure that the institution’s humanitarian actions in communities remain.

Mr. Clark explained that the Red Cross has and continues to render relevant and timely services to distressed and needy people in time of disasters and looking beyond at other compelling humanitarian challenges and adopting ways of addressing needs in communities. He said these activities and intervention have been successful based on the Red Cross’ collective efforts and donor support to demonstrate humanity and express solidarity.

“But now that things are very tough and rough at the moment, we need more than ever before a stronger and professional membership based not only to build a good governance team but to also keep the NS engaged, connected, sustainable, visible and [relevant],” he added. By Winston W. Parley

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