More than 900 donate blood
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - August 3, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  More than 900 donors trooped to support the blood donation campaign 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.

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 Department of Health (DOH)-7, OPAV and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-7  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-7 had provided food packs to blood donors in support of the province-wide donation campaign.

A total of 59 personnel of the Police Regional Office-7 also supported the campaign by donating their blood.

Last July 30, some 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 Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City.

The plasma donation drive is in partnership with the DOH-7 and United Architect of the Philippines–Sugbu Chapter.

"We are truly grateful to the donors - people with a heart to help those in need of blood, a lifesaving action. We are amazed by the response and willingness to share a part of their lives- their blood," said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist.

Loreche said the DOH-7 Sub-National Blood Center's supply is a lot better now with the active blood donation drive.

"But we need to continue on (because) the demand is great and we have to be ready at all times," Loreche added.

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 platelets for dengue patients with the onset of the rainy season.

Based on the latest blood pool of DOH-7’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 of the Convalescent Plasma Therapy for severe and critical cases of the viral disease.

DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala, in a separate statement, is very thankful to all the blood donors.

"These people are also in need, but they choose to give more by donating blood. The food packs we gave to them is nothing compared to what they shared. And we are all participating in helping one another,” Geamala added.

OPAV, in a statement, said it has implemented various initiatives to address the concerns arising from the pandemic including providing free transportation to frontliners and augmenting the testing capacity in the Visayas. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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