Angara’s office launches plasma donation website for COVID-19 survivors
MANILA, Philippines – The office of Senator Sonny Angara, who recently recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has launched a website where survivors can privately make plasma donations for patients in need.
Through the website, Plasma Ng Pagasa, COVID-19 survivors can “privately register with collecting hospitals their intent to donate convalescent plasma,” Angara said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
The senator said his office has so far partnered with the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and St. Luke’s Medical Center in BGC and Quezon City.
The donation project is “looking to expand the network to more collecting hospitals,” he added.
A vaccine to treat COVID-19 has yet to be developed but some medical professionals believe antibodies harvested in the plasma recovered from the blood of survivors could help in the recovery of other patients.
Convalescent plasma therapy has been used against infectious diseases like the 1918 Spanish flu, H1N1, measles and to some extent, Ebola.
In April, the PGH said it has seen an improvement in nearly all of its COVID-19 patients who have received blood plasma from individuals who recovered from the disease.
“Some studies suggest that convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors can help those who are critically ill to recover faster from the disease,” Angara also said.
“While more research is needed, a University of Texas at Austin peer-reviewed study has found that the experimental treatment is completely safe,” he added.
On Thursday, Angara once again donated his blood plasma.
“Praying it can help save someone,” he wrote on Instagram.
In March, the senator tested positive for the coronavirus disease. He was among the three senators who contracted the disease along with Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who have also both recovered from the disease.
Angara earlier donated plasma following his recovery in April. But in May, the lawmaker learned that he again tested positive for the coronavirus while in the process of donating his blood plasma anew to help infected patients recover.
The Department of Health, however, assured that Angara was no longer infectious, saying that only “remnants” of the coronavirus was detected in the rapid antibody test done on him as he tried to donate his blood plasma.
To date, the Philippines has confirmed 38,805 COVID-19 cases. Of the number, 10,673 patients have recovered while 1,274 have died. [ac]
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