900 people donate blood thru DOH, Opav's campaign

·3 min read

THE massive blood donation campaign launched by the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) has drawn over 900 donors.

As part of the ongoing blood donation campaign, 11 mobile bloodletting activities have been conducted in the different areas of Cebu from July 16 to July 26, 2020.

The blood donation campaign in the four barangays of Cebu’s northern town of Tabuelan last weekend recorded the highest number of donors with 566, accounting for more than half of the total.

The DOH-Central Visayas, Opav and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Visayas also brought the “Donate Blood! Save Lives! Be A Hero” campaign to Balamban town (27 donors), Talisay City (10), Mandaue City (116) and Lapu-Lapu City (179).

The DSWD-Central Visayas provided food packs to blood donors in support to the province-wide donation campaign.

A total of 59 personnel of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Central Visayas also supported the campaign by donating their blood.

On July 30, 26 soldiers from the 53rd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army who have fully recovered from Covid-19 also volunteered to donate their blood plasma at the Headquarters 53E of Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City.

The plasma donation drive is in partnership with the DOH-Central Visayas and United Architect of the Philippines–Sugbu Chapter.

“Our soldiers and police personnel have been in the frontlines since our fight against this unseen enemy started. Some of them may have acquired the disease but they have proven their resiliency and selflessness by heeding our call for more plasma donations after recovering from Covid-19,” said Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas. “Even amidst a health crisis, our troops remain dedicated to fulfill their mission.”

Dino said the campaign is in response to the rising demand for blood in the region amid the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and expected surge in dengue cases with the onset of the rainy season.

"We thank our partners in government such as the DOH, DSWD, our local government units, the police and of course our donors for supporting this noble campaign to help save lives," Dino said.

"We are truly grateful to the donors- people with a heart to help those in need of blood, a lifesaving action," said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-Central Visayas chief pathologist. "We are amazed by the response and willingness to share a part of their lives- their blood."

According to Dr. Loreche, DOH-Central Visayas Sub-national Blood Center's supply is a lot better now with the active blood donation drive. This activity is a partnership of DOH, Opav, DSWD, Philippine National Police (PNP), the various local government units and the governor, she added.

"But we need to continue on for the demand is great and we have to be ready at all times," Dr. Loreche said.

The blood donation campaign has also become timely and doubly important as the demand for plasma is also expected to increase with the rising Covid-19 cases and demand for platelet for dengue patients with the onset of the rainy season.

Based on the latest blood pool of DOH-Central Visayas’s Sub-National Blood Center for Visayas, it currently has a total of 78 units of packed red blood cells (PRBC), nine units of platelet concentrate, 59 units of fresh frozen plasma and 68 units of emergency PRBC stocks.

The blood donation initiative has sought to collect blood units with high levels of immunoglobulin (IgG), the most common antibody present in the blood, from recovered Covid-19 patients in support to the Convalescent Plasma Therapy for severe and critical cases of the viral disease.

Opav has implemented various initiatives to address the concerns arising from the pandemic.

These include providing free transportation to frontliners by deploying Malasakit buses and augmenting the testing capacity in the Visayas early on in the pandemic by providing PCR and automated extraction machines, extraction and detection kits, swab kits and other consumables. (PR)