DOH calls for blood donation amid lower output in 2020 | Inquirer News

DOH calls for blood donation amid lower output in 2020

/ 05:39 PM May 21, 2021
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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday encouraged Filipinos to donate blood as it recorded a decrease in blood donations in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marites Estrella, program manager of the DOH National Voluntary Blood Services Program, urged healthy individuals aged 18 to 65 to donate blood every three months to ensure regular supply for various medical procedures in hospitals.


“Wag po natin hintayin na sa panahon na nangangailangan tayo, doon tayo magdonate ng dugo. Ugaliin nating maging way of life natin ito,” she said in an online press briefing.

(Let us not wait to donate blood only when we need to. Let us make it our way of life.)


According to Estrella, there were 1.04 million blood donation units recorded in 2020, lower than the 1.38 million units in 2019.

However, Estrella assured that at present, there is no shortage yet on the supply of blood in the country despite the lower output.

Estrella said the implementation of lockdowns, limited transportation, and the donors’ fear of having COVID-19 are some of the factors that contributed to a decrease in blood donations last year.

Some of the venues for mobile blood donations were also turned into COVID-19 facilities, according to Estrella. DOH partner agencies have also canceled some mobile blood donation activities.

To deal with these challenges, Estrella said they have offered free shuttle services for blood donors to take them from their residences to the Philippine Blood Center. They have also been issuing blood donor passes.

“Hawak-hawak niyo ito, madadownload po ito sa aming website. Mula sa inyong bahay papunta sa blood service facilities, ipapakita niyo lang po ito sa inyong madadaanan kung kayo po ay kailangan nilang kunan ng impormasyon kung saan kayo pupunta,” she said of the blood donor pass.

(You can have this after downloading this from our website. From your resident to the blood service facilities, just show this if you will be required to present information on where you are headed.)


Estrella said they are not requiring a negative RT-PCR test result for donors before they can go to mobile blood donation activities. She added that donors will just have to undergo an online health screening before donating blood.

Estrella said the DOH aims to involve more youth in the blood donation drive this year.

“Sa ating mga kabataan, hinihikayat namin kayo, sana po ay magparticipate tayo at magbigay ng dugo every three months,” she said.

(To the youth, we encourage you to participate and donate blood every three months.)

Estrella said the public can donate blood in blood service facilities such as the Philippine Blood Center, Philippine Red Cross, and blood service facilities of the DOH, local government units, and the private sector, or through mobile donation activities in their community.

They can also use the blood donations feature of Facebook to locate nearby blood banks or blood centers.

Estrella said 84 to 85 percent of the country’s blood donations are voluntary. Blood provision can also be through replacement donation, wherein healthy relatives or patients of a patient give their blood to the blood bank.

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TAGS: blood donation, Department of Health, National Voluntary Blood Services Program
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