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Red Cross suspends its services in Ecuador for not being able to guarantee the safety of volunteers

October 9, 2019

In addition, the Hemocentro will only attend emergencies because it has no blood supply


The Red Cross has announced on Wednesday that it has decided to suspend the attention it provides in the country for not being able to guarantee the safety of volunteers, while denouncing “attacks” on headquarters and ambulances in the framework of the protests that have been going on one week.

“We have decided to suspend the attention we take as usual given the lack of guarantees (towards the volunteers) that exist and the continuous aggressions we have been subjected to,” announced the president of the Ecuadorian Red Cross, Victoria Albán. “For us, our volunteers and humanitarian personnel, it is seen to some extent in imminent danger,” added Albán.

In this context, the manager of Essential Areas of the Ecuadorian Red Cross, Tatiana Moreno, has denounced that, since the protests began, the agency has suffered attacks in five locations, in various ambulances and its volunteers have been beaten with “stones and cables. ”

“The volunteer is a person who is trained, who gives his free time,” said the manager, who recalled that the Red Cross has been in Ecuador for 109 years and that the entity is not part of the State. “We are not a public good, we do not receive money from the State,” Moreno said. “We are citizens, men and women, who believe in respect, dignity and humanity”, has settled.

On the other hand, the general manager of the Hemocentro of the Ecuadorian Red Cross, Mónica Pesantes, has announced that they will only attend hematological emergencies at national level, because there is a shortage of blood, as agreed with the Ministry of Health of the country.

The Hemocentro has blood to cover emergencies for the next two or three days, he said. In this context, he has called on citizens to donate blood. “If there is no blood there are no blood products to treat the sick,” he said.

The Ecuadorian Red Cross blood service is a national service that covers 70 percent of the population's blood needs, both in the health of the public and private sectors.