The Department of Health (DOH) aims to elevate the public consciousness on the importance of voluntary blood donations on saving the lives of millions of Filipinos thru its National Voluntary Blood Services Program (NVBSP).
The NVBSP aims to guarantee sufficient supply of safe blood and meet the national blood necessities.
Aside from the fulfillment of one feels on contributing to this national advocacy, donors may also enjoy the following benefits of blood-letting:
· Reduces heart and liver diseases
· Lowers risk of cancer
· New blood cells development
· Maintains body weight
· Lowers cholesterol level
· Improves mental well-being
To ensure that a person is eligible to donate blood, the screening and selection procedure includes the collection of donor’s health information, checking of body vitals and doctor consultation.
Once confirmed to proceed, blood collection will be done by a skilled phlebotomist and may take 10-15 minutes. The amount of blood to be collected is determined by the physician and does not exceed 450ml.
After the blood donation, the donor will then ask to be rested for 10 minutes and will be served of beverages and snacks. Post-donation education and counselling will also be given by trained professional staff.
However, as there are certain qualifications to be met by the donors to ensure the collection of “safe blood”, individuals may be deferred on giving blood temporarily or permanently; this depends on the reason of disqualification.
Among the reasons on donor deferra are the followingl:
· Anyone who has ever used intravenous drugs (illegal IV drugs)
· Men who have had sexual contact with other men
· Anyone who has ever received clotting factor concentrates
· Anyone with a positive test for HIV (AIDS virus)
· Men and woman who have engaged in sex for money or drugs
· Anyone who has had hepatitis
· Anyone who has taken Tegison for psoriasis
Based on the data from the NVBSP, fifty-eight percent of the total bloods collected in 2019 were from voluntary blood donation. And in current year, particular provinces already achieved 100 percent voluntary blood donation.
As the public continue to participate in this noble act, the goal on attaining sufficient supply of safe blood and regulations of blood banks, will soon be realized. (JCR/CGC, PIA La Union)