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PIA Press Release
2009/06/17

Misconceptions surround voluntary blood donation campaign drive

Cebu City (17 June) -- There are still a lot of misconceptions behind the purpose of voluntary blood donation which has clouded the very essence of the act itself as humanitarian in nature with the sole purpose of helping save the lives of others.

Regional Blood Center (RBC) Chief Dr. Reynette Legaray during the Kapihan sa PIA this morning on 'Voluntary Blood Donation Campaign' said most of blood donor volunteers have attached motives that have made them decide to donate their blood.

Legaray said most blood donors expect that when they donate blood they will be given priority when they need the blood for themselves or others while some people donate blood to avail of the free screen tests. Donated blood will undergo screenings from five diseases namely Hepa B, C, Syphilis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.

"Six to eight blood donors out of 10 have ulterior motives in voluntarily donating blood," Legaray bared.

There is a need to strengthen the education and information drive to donate blood voluntarily without any conditions attached as all these donated blood will be given to people who need it the most, according to Legaray.

Most people expect that when they donate blood, they are given priority as she stressed that the RBC and other blood centers like the Regional Blood Coordinating Council and the Philippine National Red Cross are not blood depository banks.

Last June 14, the Philippines joined the international community in celebrating the World Blood Donor Day under the theme '100 percent Voluntary Blood Donation' where in Cebu, leaflets were distributed in the various malls to promote voluntary blood donation and a tribute made to regular blood donors.

Legaray said Cebu still needs to increase its blood supply by 40 percent through voluntary blood donation as this is one of the biggest challenges having recently assumed her post as RBC chief a few months ago.

The RBC Chief said Cebu is still far off to the goal of the 100 voluntary blood donation which is the universal objective of the World Health Organization.

To achieve its aim of 100 percent voluntary blood donation, Legaray wants to institutionalize the donor recruitment system down to the barangays where the local chief executives will be the lead in their respective areas for the community-based voluntary blood donation while the RBC will extend only technical assistance.

As July has been declared as Blood Month, activities have been lined up for voluntary blood recruitment as the public is urged to give their blood for free to help save lives. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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