Thai Red Cross Society

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Thai Red Cross Society
Logo of the Thai Red Cross Society.jpg
Formation 1893
Type Aid agency
Purpose Humanitarian aid
Headquarters Bangkok
Region served
Thailand
Membership International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
President
Queen Sirikit
Budget THB 5,110,829,700 (2014)[1]
Website Redcross.or.th

The Thai Red Cross Society (Thai: สภากาชาดไทย; RTGS: Sapha Ka Chat Thai) is the major humanitarian organisation in Thailand, providing services as part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The Society was founded in 1893 and is headquartered in Bangkok. It is governed by the Act on Thai Red Cross Society, Buddhist Era 2461 (1918), and is supervised by the Council of Ministers. Its expenses are borne by the Government. Its president is appointed by the King upon advice and consent of the Council of Ministers. The current president is Queen Sirikit who has held the position since 12 August 1956.[2]

History[edit]

The origin of the Thai Red Cross Society relates to the Franco–Siamese territorial dispute of 1893 in which no organised aid was available to assist the military casualties. Lady Plien Pasakornravongs assembled a group of female volunteers and proposed to Queen Savang Vadhana for royal permission to establish a humanitarian organisation. Permission was granted by King Chulalongkorn, who also granted permission to raise starting funds of 443,716 Baht. The society, then known as the Red Unalom Society (สภาอุณาโลมแดง), was founded on 26 April 1893, with Queen Savang Vadhana as maternal patron. Queen Saovabha was appointed the first president, and Lady Plien acted as the society secretary.

The society's name was later changed to the Siam Red Cross Society and, following the renaming of the country, the Thai Red Cross Society. The society was officially recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross on 27 May 1920, and membership in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (then the League of Red Cross Societies) was granted on 8 April 1921.

Services[edit]

Following the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Thai Red Cross Society provides humanitarian aid and relief services in times of war and disaster, which is handled by its Relief and Public Health Bureau. The bureau also offers public health promotion services in remote areas of the country. In addition, the society also provides other medical and charitable services.

Medical services[edit]

The Thai Red Cross Society operates the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, which is located in Bangkok and with 1,479 beds is one of the largest hospitals in the country, and Queen Sawangvatana Memorial Hospital, a 500-bed general hospital located in Sri Racha. The Red Cross Rehabilitation Centre, located in Samut Prakan Province, provides physical medicine and rehabilitation services for long-term patients.

Blood donation[edit]

Blood donation services provided by the National Blood Centre are one of the society's most popular public images. Founded in 1952, the centre processes and provides blood and blood components to hospitals in Bangkok and the surrounding area, and offers nationwide services through 147 regional chapters.

Organ donation[edit]

The Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre began operation in 1994 and is the sole national coordinator of organ donations. The Thai Red Cross Eye Bank, in operation since 1965, provides eye tissue for corneal transplantation, and has 10 regional offices.

AIDS programme[edit]

The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre offers HIV testing and counseling services through its Anonymous Clinic, and runs education and awareness campaigns to battle the spread of the epidemic and better the lives of those living with HIV. The centre conducts research on HIV and clinical interventions under the HIV-NAT programme, and offers many services to help those living with HIV.

Vaccines and rabies prevention[edit]

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute produces BCG and rabies vaccines and snake antivenins for national distribution. The institute provides rabies prevention and immunisation services. Its snake farm is also open to visitors and tourists, providing education in addition to its research activities.

Medical education[edit]

The Thai Red Cross College of Nursing is one of the country's major professional nurse training centres. King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital serves as the teaching hospital for both the college and also the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine.

Child welfare[edit]

The Thai Red Cross Children's Home takes care of children abandoned at King Chulalongkorn and Queen Sawangvatana Memorial Hospitals, and attempts to reunite the families or provide the children with suitable adoptive homes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]