by Cesar Ilao III
There’s no greater gesture of love than giving one’s own blood.
The Los Baños Municipal Health Office (LBMHO), in partnership with the Philippine Blood Center (PBC), conducted its first Dugong Bayani Blood Donation for 2017 on February 11 at the Los Baños Municipal Hall activity area at 8am.
The blood drive accumulated 78 bags of blood from volunteers coming from the Los Baños area and other parts of Laguna. The bikers of Mio Natin Riders Club Laguna Chapter participated in the event. According to Irene Lapitan Bautista, the Dugong Bayani coordinator, they were able to invite people through social media, as well as visit various church and offices to encourage people to take part in the bloodletting activity.
Rowena Parducho, 52 years old from Brgy. Batong Malake and president of the Rotary Club of Los Baños Makiling, shared it was her first time to donate blood. She decided to donate blood to replenish the stimulation of blood in her body.
Potential blood donors were required to undergo steps before donating blood: (1) Registration of personal and medical information, (2) vital signs check, (3) screening, and (4) bleeding.
Bautista said that some potential donors were rejected during vital signs check and screening because they failed to meet some of the medical requirements, which include:
- having at least a weight of 50 kilograms;
- abstained from alcohol a day before the bloodletting activity;
- age of 18-70 years old (age of 16-17 years requires consent); and
- 6-8 hours of sleep before the bloodletting activity.
She added that the bloodletting activity was conducted to provide blood bags for the Philippine Blood Center (PBC), where all people in need of blood can avail it for free.
After donating blood, the donors received their certificate, free food, and a flyer containing guidelines when donating blood. Male donors were given ornamental plants, while females were given sunflowers. Bautista said that this was an idea to attract more people to donate blood.
Sergio Denoga Jr., Medical Officer IV of Philippine Blood Center, explained that the Philippines has only few donors.
“Malaki ang kakulangan ng supply ng ating dugo. Kasi ‘pag walang volunteers, wala tayong maibibigay na dugo sa mga nanganganak at naaksidente… Ang mga Pilipino kasi takot mag-donate,” said Denoga Jr.
He expressed his gratitude for the donors of Los Baños upon observing that several Los Baños residents volunteered to donate blood. He also explained that people in need of blood can request from PBC, which is located in Quezon City.
“Pag nangailangan sila ng dugo, meron kaming coordinators sa Philippine Blood Center at Los Baños. So kapag may nangailangan ng dugo sa Los Banos, tatawagan yung coordinator namin. Hihingi sila ng type ng dugo, at ibibigay namin for free,” added Denoga Jr.
Bautista added that Los Baños residents can approach LBMHO to coordinate the request for blood. Upon PBC’s confirmation of the availability of the blood type needed, the residents in need of blood can travel to PBC to get it for free.
According to 29-year-old Christian Philip Denaque, warehouse man from Malvar, Batangas and a member of Mio Natin Riders Club Laguna Chapter, he donated his blood to save people and for his blood to replenish. Since 2009, he has been donating his blood to various bloodletting activities.
The Dugong Bayani blood drive is an activity organized by the LBMHO, in partnership with the Philippine Blood Center. First conducted in 2014, it encourages the residents of Los Baños to be a hero by donating their blood to the needy. The LBMHO conducts the bloodletting activity three times a year. The first Dugong Bayani blood drive conducted this year was assisted by Rotary Club of Los Baños Makiling, Scouts Royale Brotherhood, and Jollibee.
The next Dugong Bayani blood drive will be conducted in June later this year.