Canadian Red Cross

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Canadian Red Cross
Charitable organization
Founded 1896
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Revenue 360,946,000 CAD (2014)[1]
Website http://www.redcross.ca

The Canadian Red Cross Society (French: Croix-Rouge canadienne) is a Canadian humanitarian charitable organization, and one of 190 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

The mission of the Canadian Red Cross is to improve the lives of vulnerable people in Canada and around the world. The society trains volunteers in emergency response, disaster response, and disaster assistance, and provides injury prevention services such as outdoor activities safety and first aid training. The society, through the international network of the Red Cross, helps the world’s vulnerable populations, including victims of armed conflicts and communities destroyed by disasters. The current Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Red Cross is Conrad Sauvé.

History[edit]

Volunteers from Canadian Red Cross assemble packages for prisoners of war during the Second World War.

The Canadian Red Cross was established in the fall of 1896 as an affiliate of the British Red Cross Society (then known as the National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War). Colonel Dr. George Ryerson, who had founded Canada's St. John Ambulance Association in 1895, spearheaded the organization's founding. The Canadian Red Cross Society Act (1909) legally established the Red Cross as the corporate body in Canada responsible for providing volunteer aid in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. It is a national society and a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation). The Canadian Red Cross had its centennial celebration in May 2009.[2]

Mrs. Mary Alice Danner of Perth, Ontario donated a building at 237 Metcalfe Street to the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society for blood donor services, which later became known as 'Red Cross House'. The building was donated in memory of Flight Sergeant William Dewey Hagyard R.C.A.F. who was missing in action February 11, 1942. The Ottawa branch of Blood Services Canada later relocated to Plymouth Street, in Ottawa[3]

All of the Canadian Red Cross staff and volunteers are guided by the seven fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement:

• Humanity • Impartiality • Neutrality • Independence • Voluntary Service • Unity • Universality

Programs in Canada[edit]

Cambridge Canadian Red Cross

Emergencies and Disasters

The Canadian Red Cross provides assistance to Canadians experiencing an emergency or disaster. The organization works in partnership with government, first responders, emergency management, and other organizations to support their response activities. They also provide assistance for people's basic needs, which includes: family reuinification, lodging, reception and information, food, clothing, and personal services, such as first aid, temporary care for children or elderly, and other support.[4]

Community Health Services

Community Support Services

The Canadian Red Cross offers a wide range of community support services that provide daily supports to older adults, vulnerable people, and their caregivers. The goal of these programs is to provide support in maintaining quality of life, independence, and active participation in society. Some of the programs and services available include: nutrition support programs (such as Meals on Wheels), social inclusion programs, assisted living in supportive housing and attendant outreach services, safety programs, and transportation. The availability of these programs varies.[5]

Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP)

This program provides health equipment to individuals dealing with individuals or injury, enabling them to return home from the hospital sooner or live more independently. The program operates in British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Yukon Territory. The types of assistive equipment that can be provided include: wheelchairs, walkers, bath seats and benches, commodes and toilet seats, crutches and canes, bed handles, and other durable medical equipment. The program is funded through financial donations as well as through the donation of used medical equipment, diverting it from the landfill, and it carried out with the support of volunteers and the health authorities.[6]

Home Care Services

The Canadian Red Cross offers personal support and homemaking services to support the independent living of seniors and those recovering from illness or injury. These services include: personal care, home management, and respite and companion care. Home care services are available in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario.[7]

Migrant and Refugee Services

The Canadian Red Cross has been involved in the independent monitoring of detention facilities holding immigration detainees since 1999, following a request from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The organization provides independent monitoring to promote a protective environment in which detainees are treated humanely and their human rights and inherent dignity are respected. As of 2014, this includes visiting federal immigration holding facilities and some provincial correctional facilities in Québéc, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba.[8]

Safety, First Aid, and CPR

The Canadian Red Cross is involved in treating the wounded on the fields of war and to training individuals to more effectively handle emergencies both at home and in the workplace. The organization is a leading provider of first aid and CPR programs and has been offering first aid and CPR training to Canadians for over 50 years. In an average year, more than 600,000 Canadians were trained in first aid and CPR so that lives can be saved before an ambulance arrives.[9]

In 1946 the Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety programs were introduced as a result of a large number of drownings that occurred in Canada in the 1940s. Since then, more than 30 million Canadians, in more than 3,500 communities across Canada were to taught to swim and stay safe around water.

In 2012, The Canadian Red Cross and The Royal Life Saving Society of Canada joined forces with the Public Health Agency of Canada to launch the Open Water Wisdom initiative, which is a community water activity safety program dedicated to bringing awareness to recreational water safety issues nationally and in hundreds of remote communities across Canada.[10][11]

International Programs[edit]

Emergencies and Disasters

The Canadian Red Cross responds to the needs to vulnerable communities affected by conflict, disasters, and health emergencies. The organization delivers primary healthcare programs, relief supplies, water, and sanitation and shelter solutions. International programming promotes cost-effective, community-based programs that target large numbers of people with rapid, effective, and large-scale humanitarian aid.[12]

International Development

The Canadian Red Cross also has long-term development programs in the regions of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.[13]

Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Maternal, newborn, and child health is a priority for the Canadian Red Cross. Many of these deaths are preventable through integrated community-based programs, low cost interventions and improved access to health care. The organization focuses on strengthening and supporting health systems to address issues that have disproportionately impact child mortality, including malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and malnutrition, particularly in remote areas where there is a lack of health services and emergencies where health services have collapsed. They also focus on education in the areas of reproduction, newborn care and breastfeeding, and nutrition for young children, as well as increase access to potable water and the knowledge and means to improve hygiene and sanitation.[14][15]

Controversy[edit]

Krever Commission[edit]

Until September 28, 1998, the Canadian Red Cross was responsible for all blood services in Canada. On the recommendation of the Krever Commission, the organization was removed from this position and replaced by the Canadian Blood Services. This was due to nationwide controversy when it was revealed that the Canadian Red Cross had knowingly supplied, between 1986 and 1990, blood tainted with Hepatitis C and HIV.[16]

In 1994, an investigation found that 95 percent of hemophiliacs who used blood products supplied by the Canadian Red Cross prior to 1990 had contracted Hepatitis C.[17] According to the Krever Commission, approximately 85 percent of those infections could have been prevented. More than 1,100 Canadians were infected with HIV and 20,000 contracted Hepatitis C from blood transfusions given by the Red Cross during that period.[18]

The Canadian Red Cross was fined $5,000 for its role in the tainted blood scandal and the organization agreed to plead guilty to distributing a contaminated drug. It agreed to donate $1.5 million to the University of Ottawa for a research endowment fund, as well as a scholarship for the family members of those affected. In exchange, six criminal charges against the Canadian Red Cross were dropped.[17]

Dr. Roger Perrault, the director of the Canadian Red Cross at the time, was put on trial for his role in the scandal. The first trial, in Toronto before the Superior Court of Justice, resulted in an acquittal. He had been charged with four counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and one of common nuisance. The counts of criminal negligence were specific to four victims who had contracted HIV from tainted blood. The second trial, in Hamilton, also before the Superior Court of Justice, resulted in charges being withdrawn. The charges were six counts of common nuisance and "stemmed from an allegation he endangered the public by failing to properly screen donors, implement testing for blood-borne viruses and warn the public of the danger regarding hepatitis C and HIV" and relate to a period of time in which the understanding of AIDS was even more rudimentary. The charges were withdrawn on the basis that there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.[19]

Investigation into alleged 2004 Indian tsunami worker abuse[edit]

An investigation conducted by Radio-Canada (CBC) first aired on March 17, 2010 on The National. It reported on the problems facing workers hired by Canadian Red Cross contractors during an effort to rebuild communities in the Indonesian province of Aceh.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Centennial celebration Archived 2009-12-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ 'Red Cross House' Archived 2014-05-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "How We Help Canadians". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Community Support Services". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Health Equipment Loan Program". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Home Care Services". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Promoting the Rights of Immigration Detainees". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  9. ^ "First Aid Tips and Resources". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Keeping Communities Safe," Archived October 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. as published in a press release by The Canadian Red Cross, July 2012
  11. ^ "THE LIFESAVING SOCIETY AND CANADIAN RED CROSS CALL FOR COMMUNITIES TO JOIN OPEN WATER WISDOM CAMPAIGN," as published in a press release by Open Water Wisdom, May 2012
  12. ^ "Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  13. ^ "International Development". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Maternal, Newborn and Child Health". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Our Contributions to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health". Canadian Red Cross. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  16. ^ CTV.ca | Red Cross knew about hep-C test in '81: memo Archived August 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ a b CBC News In Depth: Tainted Blood
  18. ^ Tainted blood trial set to start
  19. ^ "Charges dropped in tainted-blood probe | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  20. ^ "Red Cross tsunami workers abused". cbc.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 

External links[edit]