The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) inaugurated its 96th blood service facility in the country in San Rafael, Bulacan, on October 14, a move that fortifies its commitment to deliver safe, quality, and adequate blood supply to Filipinos, notably, to the most vulnerable.
With the opening of this new blood station, PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said that many lives can be saved, especially now that many parts of the country are experiencing dengue epidemic.
“I’m very proud, and you Bulakeños, should also be proud to have another blood center here in your historical province that will serve the most vulnerable,”Gordon said during his opening remarks.
The P500,000-blood station, which is located in the Ricardo C. Silverio Building inside the new San Rafael Municipal Compound,is the 67th PRC blood collecting unit/bloodstation. It is equipped with a powerful microscope, state-of-the-art cold storage that can accommodate up to 300 units of blood bags, manned by well-trained PRC staff.
In order to save more lives and to meet the demands of Filipinos who are having difficulties acquiring blood, he appealed to the public,including Bulakeños, to regularly donate blood.
“It’s our commitment to serve more Filipinos and we aim to create more blood facilities in the future for easier access to quality blood supply. We want to reach the most vulnerable communities in the rural and far-flung areas to ensure that there is safe blood for all,” Gordon added.
PRC, as a major provider of blood needs in the country, served a total of 205,772 individuals in 2018.
Gordon also stressed the importance of the Seven Fundamental Principles of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that should be observed by PRC staff and volunteers at all times.
Also present during the event were PRC – National Blood Service Director, Dr. Christie Monina M. Nalupta, San Rafael Mayor Cipriano Violago Jr., Bulacan 3rd District Rep. Lorna Silverio, PRC-Bulacan Chapter Administrator Ricardo Villacorte and PRC Bulacan Director and Blood Services Committee Chairman Irmingardo Antonio.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard Gordon raises alarm over the rising cases of HIV this year—noting that lack of action may affect the supply of quality blood products in the country.
The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported that 38 new cases of HIV were recorded on a daily basis in 2019, a significant rise from the 32-per-day rate in 2018.
“I personally receive calls from people from different provinces, most of them crying and appealing for blood and we strive to meet their needs. If the number of HIV cases continues to rise, our country’s blood supply could be affected,” Gordon said.
This year, PRC is integrating a nucleic acid test (NAT) to its system to allow accurate and more sensitive detection of HIV contraction among applicant donors.
Gordon said PRC prioritizes the integration of NAT into its blood testing system in its blood service facilities in the National Capital Region, where 30 percent of the new cases were registered.
“NAT testing will reduce the Filipino population’s exposure to HIV. We should take action. Let us intensify our HIV prevention campaign through peer education,” Gordon said.
DOH’s latest HIV/AIDS Registry shows that in March alone, there were 1,172 new cases reported, with 215 of them in advanced stage or AIDS. The figure brings the total number of cases this year to 3,434.
Gordon made the statement in line with the celebration of the 2019 World Blood Donors’ Day with the theme “Safe Blood for All,” a call to solidify access to safe and quality blood supply.
PRC now has 93 blood service facilities, including 27 blood centers, 66 blood collecting units/blood stations, and 11 apheresis centers.
The organization recently established blood facilities in Albay, Bogo, Mountain Province, and Calamba. PRC is also eyeing new blood stations in San Carlos, Pangasinan; San Rafael, Bulacan; Bocaue, Bulacan; Imus, Cavite; Bacoor, Cavite; and Romblon.
PRC, as one of the top providers of blood needs in the country, served a total of 205,772 individuals last year.
PRC’s National Blood Center also earned the international standard on quality management systems (ISO 9001:2015, making PRC the first blood center in Southeast Asia and the only non-hospital blood service facility in the Philippines to receive the certification.