CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)-Pampanga Chapter received over the weekend laboratory and hospital equipment from World Medical Relief Inc. (WMRI) in a bid to strengthen hospital services in the province.

This was announced to Sun.Star Pampanga by Councilor Jimmy Lazatin, who is also a member of the Red Cross, in an interview Sunday.

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He said WMRI, a multi-funded, non-profit charitable organization based in Detroit, Michigan, made the donation through Dr. George Samson who is a Kapampangan based in the United States. Samson is the director for operations and chief operating officer of WMRI.

Lazatin said the organization, established in 1953, collects financial donations and goods, including medical, dental, and laboratory items, and purchases and distributes such commodities to organizations and institutions and other recognized beneficiaries all across the world.

"We are happy with their help and we hope that they continue extending their assistance not just to the Red Cross but also to other organizations here devoted to upgrading health services for our cabalens," Lazatin said.

The recent donation which included equipment for laboratories and hospital wards were received by Chapter Administrator Augusto Ocampo and Lazatin at the Capitol Grounds.

According to the PNRC, these will be used mainly for their blood bank operations, contemplating to donate some of the equipment to a deserving hospital in the province.

Ocampo, for his part, thanked the WMRI for the donation and called its attention to the still growing need for more medical assistance for hospitals in Central Luzon. Recently, the Kapampangan Development Foundation received similar donations from WMRI for the operation of its community hospital in Bacolor town. Similar donations were also given to the Provincial Government and other organizations in the province.

The Philippines, which is one of the 120 recipient-countries of medical equipment from WMRI, has received close to $490 million worth of aid in the form of medical equipment and medicines from the group.