Round-up: Updates from Thailand and the Philippines

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.
 
Red Cross broke barriers once again, with the opening of the first clinic in Asia to target services exclusively to the transgender community.THAILAND: In 1991, the Thai Red Cross Society AIDS Research Centre set a precedent by opening the first HIV-voluntary counselling and testing clinic in Asia. In November, the Red Cross broke barriers once again, with the opening of the first clinic in Asia to target services exclusively to the transgender community.  The centre is managed by trained, transgender personnel and gender-sensitive medical professionals, and it will provide psychosocial counselling, hormone administration and pap smears. By providing health services through the clinic, the Thai Red Cross and its partners aim to reduce stigma and discrimination, and the misuse of hormones for gender-affirmation, vulnerability to HIV and other.
 
PHILIPPINES: Philippine authorities pre-emptively evacuated 700,000 people in the path of Typhoon Melor which made landfall in northern Samar on Monday. Since Typhoon Melor made landfall it has weakened and is now tracking across the islands of southern Luzon with winds slowing to about 140 km/hr. If it continues on its predicted trajectory the typhoon will exit the Philippine landmass by Wednesday night. Melor is expected to continue dumping heavy rain as it moves across southern Luzon and gale warnings have been issued for areas further north.  Philippine Red Cross has readied its local chapters, emergency response teams and community health volunteers to respond to humanitarian needs on the ground. Disaster preparedness stocks have been pre-positioned for 17,400 families and water search and rescue teams with boats and equipment have been placed on alert. 
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