If only 1 percent of the population donated blood regularly, it would be sufficient to meet country’s basic blood requirement, according to the World Health Organization.

Thus, Health officials have sounded the call for health Filipinos, aged between 16 and 80 and weigh more than 20 kilograms, to donate blood and they can do so every 12 weeks.

The call was made as the Department of Health observed World Blood Donor Day, with the theme “What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often.”

Potential blood donors need to pass the physical requirements, which include laboratory exams and medical history.

For people wary that their health conditions may be exposed, DOH assured of the confidentiality when donating blood.

Fifty-seven countries are able to supply 100 percent of their blood requirements free from unpaid donors. Unfortunately, the Philippines belongs to the 71 countries where many patients needing transfusion rely on donations from family or friends or have to pay for the blood.

In high-income countries, blood transfusion is commonly used for supportive therapy in cardiovascular surgery, transplant surgery, massive trauma and other blood problems.

Meanwhile, transfusion in middle- to low-income countries is mostly done in pregnancy-related complications, malaria compromised by anaemia, and trauma.

It is also important to understand that a single unit of blood can be separated into several components so that more patients are able to benefit from the donation.

In the Philippines, though blood supplies may vary depending on the region and time of the year, the Health department stressed that the country is always at risk for low blood supply.

Blood supply facilities in the country include the Philippine Blood Center, public or DOH-run hospitals, the Philippine Red Cross, local government units and non-governmental agencies.

There is an ongoing project to build a blood typing bank nationwide so that communities are aware where to source their blood requirements in times of disasters or calamities.

Presidential Proclamation No. 1021 has declared July as Blood Donors Month in the Philippines, and is governed by the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the National Blood Service Act of 1994. MIMS

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