Minister recognised for breaking epidemic chain

James Kon

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar yesterday received the BRC Henry Dunant Leaders Award in recognition of his excellent work in helping to curb the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) President Haji Mohd Suhaimi bin Haji Ibrahim presented the award during a ceremony at the Al-’Afiah Hall of the Ministry of Health.

Haji Mohd Suhaimi, in his congratulatory speech, said, “We are grateful to Allah the Almighty and the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam that our country has successfully controlled the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society is presenting the utmost leadership award as an appreciation to the Minister of Health, in controlling and breaking the chain of the COVID-19 epidemic.”

The BRC Henry Dunant Leaders Award is an award recognised jointly by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for excellent universal humanitarian works.

“The BDRCS would like to convey its appreciation and thanks to corporate partners and members of the public who made contributions such as food, drink, protective personal equipment (PPE), hygiene packs and others, in joint support of the COVID-19 humanitarian mission,” he said.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar receives the BRC Henry Dunant Leaders Award from Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society President Haji Mohd Suhaimi bin Haji Ibrahim.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar presents the ‘Friends of BRC’ Charter Award to Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
ABOVE & BELOW: Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham presents the medals to a volunteer and a media member

Haji Mohd Suhaimi continued, “The BDRCS is also presenting the ‘Friends of BRC’ Charter Award to two corporate bodies – Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) and Rimba Point – which have frequently provided support for the BDRCS’ humanitarian mission. The Friends of BRC is similar to the Friends of Red Cross and Red Crescent, which has become a strategic cooperation practice at international level.

“The BDRCS, as a statutory body that is a member of the International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent, plays an auxiliary role within the constitution of Brunei Darussalam in ensuring the safety of the community and the country against any threats, especially infectious diseases such as COVID-19. The main fundamental and core business of the BDRCS is to save lives, and ensure that the community’s well-being is guaranteed.

“The BDRCS would like to convey its gratitude to the Ministry of Health, which gave full confidence in appointing the BDRCS to coordinate national-level volunteers on March 19, 2020, before it was taken over by national youth volunteers under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

“The BDRCS would also like to thank the National Disaster Management Centre, the Immigration and National Registration Department and the Department of Civil Aviation for entrusting the BDRCS with the responsibility in coordinating with numerous government agencies for the reception operations at the Brunei International Airport and hotels designated as quarantine centres.”

He added, “The BDRCS is the only organisation in the world that still practises volunteerism without permanent staff or officers; and has managed to mobilise a voluntary force of more than 100 individuals including support from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other volunteer organisations such as the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Volunteers, ACTFAST, scout associations, mukim and village youth, private individuals and corporate partners in successfully carrying out COVID-19 humanitarian mission and national volunteer training, the coordinated raising of contributions and public assistance, the distribution of medicines and food, the coordination and transportation for swabbing, the receptions at the airport, special missions from time to time, providing assistance in disseminating information for BruHealth, and working to disseminate public safety information to villages and mukim.

“The BDRCS will always stand ready to help and provide its loyal services, as well as being active and united in support of the safety agenda and aspirations, outlined by government institutions in the country.”

The BDRCS Deputy President of Policy and Finance presented 10 recipients with appreciation plaques.

The event also witnessed the presentation of the COVID-19 medal, the very first humanitarian mission medal introduced by the BDRCS in its 70-year establishment.

The Minister of Health presented the medals to volunteers under the BDRCS, in recognition of their voluntary work.

The minister also presented the ‘Friends of BRC’ Charter Award to BIBD and Rimba Point.

The ceremony concluded with BIBD Head of Government Relations and Special Projects Haji Mohammad Yusri bin Haji Wahsalfelah handing over 100 PPE jackets to the BDRCS, on behalf of BIBD.