At least 1,090 Black Nazarene devotees were provided medical assistance and treated by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) medical staff and volunteers, and first aid stations around the Quiapo district during the annual Traslacion on Thursday.
Senator Richard Gordon, PRC chairperson and CEO, said from an estimated count of two million devotees joined the Traslacion and liturgy prayer at the Quiapo Church, most of them fainted, became dizzy, had difficulty of breathing, sprains, wound abrasions, lacerations, body weakness, bruises, suspected fracture, and elevated blood pressure.
"We have catered 1, 090 people in our 13 medical tents and first aid centers, we have done blood pressure monitoring to 688 people," Gordon said.
The PRC augmented the medical team of the Department of Health during Traslacion.
Gordon added of those treated, 15 patients were brought to nearby hospitals due to hypertension, fracture, dislocation, fainting, and loss of consciousness while those who have sustained minor injuries were treated on-site.
He said PRC medical team also distributed 10,000 liters of water to ensure devotees were rehydrated.
During the Traslacion, which started 5:12 a.m. and ended 8:45 p.m., the PRC deployed more than 1,000 personnel and volunteer doctors and nurses in medical stations set up along the procession route.
Gordon said based on PRC's assessment, there are fewer devotees who are injured compared to last year's Traslacion.
"There are lesser people who were injured this year compared to last year, in spite of the fact there are more people this year. But the people have been administered to and that the most important because a lot of volunteers took care of them," he said.
Aside from extending its medical manpower to mobilize during the Traslacion, Gordon said the PRC medical unit kept its three rescue boats on standby at the Pasig River to assist any untoward incident as the Black Nazarene passed by the Ayala Bridge.
To augment medical assistance for Traslacion, Gordon said the PRC set up an emergency medical unit, which is composed of 20 beds, and 13 first aid stations.
He said the PRC also deployed 15 ambulances per station while 32 ambulances, two water tankers, a rescue truck, firetruck, and a 6x6 humvee were on standby.
Gordon lauded the volunteers and PRC's medical staff for working beyond their limits during the Traslacion.
"I heartily congratulate all the volunteers and the operations center of the PRC for the job well done, for operating not just 48 hours but for the several days before and entire preparations 24/7," he said.
Based on their assessment in this year's Traslacion, Gordon said they will ensure more efficient medical units for the next feast of the Black Nazarene.
"For the next Traslacion, we will do a few refinements to assure more efficient services will be delivered to the devotees," he said, noting that they will add more volunteer doctors and nurses.
Source: Philippines News Agency