Date Published: June 26, 2018, 9:28 a.m.
he National Blood Services Act of 1994 also known as the Republic Act 7719 was signed into Law in May 27, 1994. This Law aims to promote voluntary blood donation in order to provide sufficient supply of safe blood, regulate blood banks and provides penalties for violations thereof. Muntinlupa City started its implementation of the National Voluntary Blood Services Program (NVBSP) in November 1998. Initiated were the Training of Trainers on Blood Recruitment and Retention which was participated by the City Health Office (CHO) Physicians. The CHO staff and Barangay Health Workers were oriented on the Program. In 2001, the Sangguniang Panglungsod, through Executive Ordinance Number 01-007 established the Muntinlupa Blood Council (MBC). The council strengthens the linkages among blood service facilities and related institutions in accordance with the zoning and affiliations procedures. Through the years, the Muntinlupa Blood Services Program has been continuously developing strategies to improve the Blood Program in the City in terms of Advocacy and Public Awareness, Donor Recruitment, Donor Retention and Blood Assistance. These progressive efforts and achievements have consistently garnered national awards for the city. The City Government of Muntinlupa was given the Jose Rizal Award on December 2, 2015 and December 1, 2017, and the Andres Bonifacio Award on December 2, 2016. In 2017, the city was recognized with the Jose Rizal Award for its donation of 3,856 blood-units. The Jose Rizal Award, the highest citation in the Dugong Bayani Awards, is given by the Department of Health (DOH) for institutions with exceptional mobile blood-donation service program. The Blood Donation Management System monitors the information (profiles) of all volunteers, thus enabling the City Health Office to keep track of the units of blood donated, the frequency thereof, and the necessity of follow ups, if warranted.
Initially, the program covers employees of the City Government. Little by little, the program has been introduced at the barangay level, enabling employees thereof to participate thereat. Inroads have been made to involve private citizens, starting at the barangay level, in order to move the participation base away from employees. This year, through the active assistance of the Department of Health of the national government, the target of 10,000 blood donors is achievable.
For the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, 4640, 5789 and 4799 units were collected and 1744, 2774 and 3610 blood assistance were given, respectively, through mobile bloodletting activities of the City Health Office.
Starting date: November 1998
Ending date: still on going and no ending date is planned
The City Health Office calls out, through the issuance of a memo from the Office of the City Administrator, for employees to donate on x date, y time and z venue. Before anyone can donate, he or she is asked by a team of medical personnel on health conditions and problems. No one found medically unfit can donate blood. The CHO provides all materials and instruments for blood letting. The personnel of the private or government blood bank assigned on that particular day collects all units to be brought to their respective headquarters. Special arrangements can also be made with the Department of Health, the Philippine National Red Cross or major government hospitals in Manila.
The Local Government of Muntinlupa has consistently shown support to the NVBSP through the provisions of venues for the mobile blood donations campaign and through financial support. The NVBSP is included in the Annual Operational Plan. Financial support for the program has increased in the 3-year period with P315,573.00, P541,171.00, and P729,702.65 allocations respectively for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Medical cost and quality health care in the Philippines are challenges to the millions of poor citizens. Largely due to an increase in illnesses requiring blood transfusion, like dengue, blood banks are always running out of available units. The impact of this program, more than the increase in supply, is the change in the mindset of the donor. From before when resistance was pervasive, donors actually look forward to the time they can return and donate again (a three-month interval period is ideal). They also inform family members and friends to donate blood as well. Also, consciousness on healthy lifestyle has increased. The mindset of giving blood as a much better alternative than being the recipient of blood is palpable. Thus, cost of medical care has gone down, especially when family members of patients have to search far and wide for available units.
The Ospital ng Muntinlupa, the city hospital, has enjoyed a steady supply of blood. Although private and public blood banks may sometimes deliver collected units elsewhere outside the city, because of this program, the Ospital ng Muntinlupa enjoys access to blood banks of other hospitals; hence, the steady supply.
The number of blood donor screened is 3,052, blood donors bled is 4,799, blood donor deferred is 1,253, blood units collected is 4,799, repeat blood donors is 2,984 and given blood assistance is 3,610.
Since the program initially covered employees, there was resistance, especially when volunteerism clashed with imposition. It was a case of benevolent burden. The Mayor had to explain that it was a civic duty, that it was better to donate blood than receive it, that it builds a community.
Cost is minimal, inasmuch as the program is already built in the annual plans of the City Health Office, and the technological requirements are supplied by the Management Information Systems Office. It is a good thing that private blood banks and the national government have taken notice, and networking has taken root.
Start with study of the supply side. The demand is always present. In the beginning, it was a case, as mentioned, of forced donation. Employees of the city government were required to donate blood. Resistance was pervasive. Slowly, people have begun to see and feel the good effects, and have come to actually anticipate the time for their donation to be received.