Soldiers donate blood for Zamboanga dengue patients
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur –– Soldiers led a bloodletting campaign on Tuesday, July 23, to help poor dengue patients here who may need a blood transfusion.
The number of dengue deaths in the city reached 20 from among the 3,046 patients infected from January to July this year.
Marine Major Leoncio Magpantay, one of the blood donors, said they participated in the campaign “because we learned about many dengue patients in need of blood, and that blood nowadays is scarce and very costly.”
“I am deeply concerned that more and more people are reported with dengue, some of them dying,” said Sergeant Bensaudi Abdullah, 52, a member of the Army Reserve Command unit.
The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), in partnership with the Defense Press Corps Western Mindanao, the Zamboanga City Medical Center, the Zamboanga Press Club and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, spearheaded the bloodletting campaign, dubbed “Sama-sama kontra dengue.”
The military regularly conducts bloodletting for wounded soldiers, “but this time, we shed blood so others may not bleed,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Westmincom chief.
Sobejana, who also donated blood, added that the military has felt the need to help the City as the number of dengue cases has reached alarming levels.
“Many patients need blood,” he noted.
Sustained dengue fever usually causes a patient’s platelet count to dip, often necessitating blood transfusion to restore the normal count.
Rising demand usually leads to tight supply, a situation that could be disadvantageous to indigent families, Sobejana said.
“Whatever we collect from here, we will give to those who are needy,” Sobejana added.
Apart from soldiers, those who donated blood were journalists, hospital workers, police, Coast Guard personnel, and fraternity members.
Sobejana thanked those who “joined hands to save lives, especially poor children with dengue.”
Before the 20th dengue death this July, a 39-year-old mother from Barangay Manicahan died last June, Dr. Kibtiya Uddin, assistant city health officer, said.
Uddin noted that over a hundred patients were hospitalized for dengue within the first two weeks of July.
A total of 95 blood bags were filled during Tuesday’s bloodletting drive, Dr. Maria Victoria Palafox Mandin, director of the Camp Don Basilio Navarro General Hospital, said. Each bag contains about 450 cubic centimeters.
The main blood donors came from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, PNP, journalists from the Defense Press Corps Western Mindanao, Zamboanga Press Club, and fraternity, like Eagles.
Sobejana said they planned to replicate the campaign in other parts of Western Mindanao that were also grappling with the dengue challenge, like in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Marawi.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.