IF there’s now a blood shortage in this Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people, blame it partly on the public’s misconception regarding blood donation.
And Quezon Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan was quick to emphasize that a stable supply of blood can only be achieved if everyone is willing to contribute.
“This wrong perception of people regarding blood donation has resulted in fewer and sometimes lack of blood donors,” according to the lady solon, who is medical doctor.
In a public hearing held recently, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosel-Ubial said that the country needs at least one million blood units to have an adequate blood supply.
It is certainly disheartening to note that the country’s blood program has collected only 720,000 units.
One-third of the 720,000 units came from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) while the remaining two-thirds came from Department of Health-run hospitals across the country.
We agree with the highly-influential Cabinet Spouses Association that there’s a need to launch a nationwide campaign on blood typing.
Blood typing is a jump-off point for the health department’s blood donation and organ donation advocacies, according to the DOH secretary.
We support the government’s blood donation program because it will address the lack of blood in the Philippines, an impoverished but manpower-exporting country.
Let’s then help the DOH, local government units (LGUs) and the PRC in encouraging members of the community to participate in blood donation activities.
Although the people have no legal responsibility to donate blood, they certainly have a moral responsibility to help those in need of blood, particularly the poorest of the poor.