By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging the public to donate blood to “ensure the supply of safe blood for patients in need.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that transfusion of blood and blood products can help patients with life-threatening conditions, such as anemia, severe liver disease, bleeding disorders, and surgical emergencies “to live longer with a higher quality, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.”
“It also has an essential life-saving role in maternal and child care, and during emergency response to man-made and natural disasters,” said the health secretary during a press briefing at the DOH-Central Office in Manila Wednesday.
Duque also added that the country’s goal of gathering one million blood units has already been achieved last December 2017.
“The country’s goal to obtain 1 percent (1 million blood units) blood collection from the total population was achieved and collected 1,120,408 blood units. This represents a significant contribution to the global call for a 100 percent voluntary blood donation by the World Health Organization (WHO),” said Duque.
“The Department of Health continues to promote the regular, year-round blood donation as a means to save lives. We are immensely grateful to the blood donors for their voluntary and sincere effort to be of help to those in need,” said Duque.
“They truly are heroes in the lives of our recipients. We continue to enjoin all Filipinos to imbibe the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ and be instrumental in saving more lives by donating blood today,” he added.
Meanwhile, WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Gundo Weiler said that unpaid voluntary blood donation is “a key to a successful national blood system.”
“We do see in the future, we wanted.. we anticipate that donations will have to grow even more and the number of people who donate need to become even bigger,” said Weiler.
“We want to ask all those people who already made the experience to please talk to your family and to your friends to also advocate for more blood donations. We want to appeal to everybody who has not donated blood yet to please consider because it can save a life,” Weiler added.
The World Blood Donor Day is being observed globally on June 14, Thursday, which aims to recognize voluntary, unpaid blood donors “for their gift of life-saving blood” and to intensify awareness on the importance of regular blood donation.