Blood donations drop during pandemic: DOH

The Department of Health in Western Visayas is appealing to the public to voluntarily donate blood to help save lives.

The restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the reduction of collected blood units from 97,421 in 2019 to only 83,088 in 2020, Dr. Adriano Suba-an, DOH 6 Director, said.

He said the DOH is celebrating the National Blood Donor’s Month this July, set under Proclamation 2021 and Republic Act 7719 also known as the National Blood Services Act of 1994, despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mobile blood donation activities are essential to maintain an adequate supply of safe blood. However, these were cancelled due to the prohibition of mass gatherings, he said.

The ongoing COVID-19 vaccination roll-out further limited the number of eligible blood donors since they are required not to have received any vaccine for at least 28 days prior to donation, Suba-an said.

Recognizing these concerns, he said the DOH has issued guidelines on ensuring blood safety and adequacy for COVID-19 response to emphasize that individuals can still donate blood in the midst of the pandemic, Suba-an said.

The DOH and the Department of the Interior and Local Government have also issued a joint memorandum setting the guidelines for local voluntary blood and convalescent plasma donations, he said.

“This also aims to strengthen the implementation of advocacy, recruitment and community mobilization through allocation of appropriate funds by the local government units,” Suba-an said.

During this National Blood Donor’s Month, the DOH encourages the public to do their share by donating blood, he said.

Information on blood donation can be accessed through Facebook by searching for “Donate Blood” in the search engine, Suba-an added.*

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