NegOcc reaches yearly target blood donation but DOH calls for more donors

BACOLOD CITY, Nov 23 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 is urging Negrenses to donate more blood to further ensure adequate supply in the province even after blood centers in Negros Occidental already reached the yearly target blood collection.

The target is one percent of the total population set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for 2015, and from January to October this year, Negros Occidental has already gone beyond the target, at 1.06 percent.

In 2014, the province through the Philippine Red Cross, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), and Negros First Blood Center had an accomplishment rate of 1.36 percent.

Dr. Hans Francis Ferraris, laboratory chairman of CLMMRH, however, said “the one percent target is relative but not absolute.”

Ferraris pointed out that there will be times, especially during last quarter of the year, when the supply needed is more than the one percent target thus, “we need to campaign for more blood donations in order to scale up the target and be ensured of adequacy.”

Health officials said that normally, Negros Occidental and Iloilo are the provinces in Western Visayas with more target blood collection every year, leaving other provinces like Aklan and Capiz at only 0.8 percent.

“In order to reach the target blood collection and to address the need of the total population of Negros Occidental, we need not less than 30,000 blood units,” said Burt Padronia, head of the blood bank section of CLMMRH.

Padronia said the one percent target promulgated by the WHO is just a minimum level of requirement for the community to participate and fulfill.

Dr. Marites Estrella, coordinator of National Blood Bank, said that of the one million blood units needed for the whole country this year, only 700,000 have been collected so far.

“There is really a gap,” she said.

Last Friday, the DOH-6 launched the advocacy and information materials on voluntary blood donations for K-12 students at the Sugarland Hotel here

Part of the DOH campaign on collecting, and strengthening the value of blood donation among Filipinos is partnering with other agencies like the Department of Education (DepEd).

During the launching of the advocacy program, DOH turned over to DepEd Division of Bacolod learning materials on voluntary blood donations.

This is to teach students the importance and the rationale of using safe blood as well as making them understand the significance of being blood donors when they reach the proper age, Estrella said.

The learning materials in the form of books and visual animations, authored by six-time Palanca Award winner and a child development specialist Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, will be injected into the basic education curriculum as well as into the Alternative Learning System (ALS), particularly in subjects like health, science, and social studies.(PNA)