Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday urged the public to donate blood as she expressed alarm over the dwindling blood donations over the past year.
Hontiveros noted many hospitals are now starting to catch up on various medical procedures that were postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The senator said the government needs to ramp up its information campaign in order to re-stock the national blood supply and meet the backlog of complex medical operations that had to be moved, waitlisted or cancelled because of the global health crisis.
“Apart from those who are still recuperating from COVID, patients who are scheduled to undergo operation also need donated plasma. I hope we can use the opportunity to help those who urgently need medical attention,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
The senator also said she acknowledges the recent efforts of the Department of Health’s (DOH) National Voluntary Blood Services Program to make it easier for potential donors to help replenish the supply.
But she said the DOH needs to exert more effort in encouraging more people to donate blood, saying that aside form possible lack of awareness in some areas, many are also thinking twice because of the risks posed by the coronavirus.
“Donations are always needed, especially in the middle of a health emergency. Let’s ensure the sustainability of the blood supply,” she said.
Hontiveros further urged the public to donate at their nearest blood service facility, such as the Philippine Red Cross.
“The blood you give can save a life. There were so many blood donation drives that were put on hold last year that’s why we need to catch up,” she said.
“It’s good that there are recent efforts to make it easier to donate blood. I hope we become instruments in saving other people’s lives,” the lawmaker stressed.