THE ETHIOPIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society was set up on July 8, 1935 on the eve of the Italian aggression by Government General Notice. During the fascist invasion, it rendered commendable services to the victims of war by deploying various medical teams sent from Sister Societies through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
After 12 years, during which it was virtually non-existent, it was again reconstituted by the 1947 Legal Notice. This was later replaced by the 1970 Revised Charter.
The acquisition of the newly Revised Charter in October 1980 and the subsequent launching of its Five-Year Development Plan has created conducive conditions for the expansion of its humanitarian services and the effective dissemination of the principles and ideals of the Red Cross on a national scale. To date, the Society has 16 branch offices in the 14 administrative regions, including Addis Ababa and Assab. Provincial-level sub-branches are also sprouting in some cases.
The general objective of the Society is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in conformity with the Basic Principles of the Red Cross. The Ethiopian. Red Cross Society also provides relief aid to victims afflicted by man-made and natural disasters.
Accordingly, it has been rendering relief aid mainly in the form of food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Medical teams have also been deployed to some of the hardest-hit regions and to areas of epidemic outbreaks. The Society is able to discharge its humanitarian duties, largely as a result of the unfailing support of the Government-the League of Red Cross Societies, the International Committee of Red Cross 84 Sister Societies. In carrying out its disaster relief activities, the Society also works in close cooperation with the Relief & Rehabilitation Commission.
In the area of Disaster Relief Preparedness, appropriate measures and actions are being taken to set up additional satellite regional warehouse/Red Cross Centers as envisaged in the Development Plan,
Recently, the Society has been trying to integrate relief operations with long-term development components. Accordingly, construction of subsurface dams and protected springs, afforestation programmes and small-scale rural development schemes are being implemented in several parts of the country with the help of Sister Societies involved in the project.
In the field of medico-Social services, the Society acts an auxiliary to the services carried out by Government bodies. At present, the Society’s activities in this sector include Blood Bank, Ambulance, First Aid & Clinical Services.
The Society initially established its blood bank in Addis Ababa in 1969 the first of its kind in Ethiopia. At present, aside from the blood banks operated by the Society in Addis Ababa, Harar, & Eritrea, it also provides the necessary support to hospital-based blood banks of the Ministry of Health.
Initiated in 1950 as the first of its kind in the country, the Society offers a twenty-four hours free ambulance, service in 18 branches with community participation. In the remaining branches where it is not yet operational there is a plan to provide the service in the near future. Until end of 1984, 80,000 persons drawn from Addis Ababa and the rest f the regional towns have received basic first aid training.
The Society’s Training center provides the necessary training for first alders, and instructors and Red Cross Youth leaders.
The Society’s Clinic at Geferssa which has been recently integrated with the Training Centre serves as a demonstration center and also provides clinical services including Mother and Child Health Care, health education, general diagnosis and treatment.
In line with the universal aims of the Red Cross youth, protection of life and health, provision of free services and fostering international friendship and understanding, the Society has disseminated Red Cross principles and ideals among the younger generation and has trained the you)? In first aid courses. Accordingly, the youth actively participate in first aid and ambulance services, in dispensing relief goods and render various services in their local communities.