Surge in dengue cases puts strain on Iloilo blood supply

ILOILO – Some dengue cases require blood transfusion.

To beef up the Philippine Red Cross’ blood bank here, the provincial government will hold a one-day bloodletting on July 16 at the Social Grand Hall of Casa Real de Iloilo.

The event is spearheaded by the Provincial Health Office in cooperation with the Association of Iloilo Provincial Government Employees (AIPGE) and Red Cross.

National government agencies are also invited to join the whole-day event. 

AIPGE president Joecil Mayor encouraged provincial capitol workers to participate in this “noble activity for our fellow Ilonggos who suffer from dengue.”

A qualified blood donor must be 18 to 65 years old, weighs 115lb or 52.5kg, with no major or minor surgery or procedure within the year, no medicine or alcohol intake for at least 24 hours, no smoking activities for four hours prior to blood extraction, and has at least five hours of sleep.

The Philippine National Red Cross will provide cards for donors in case they need to request blood for future need.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. enjoined all employees to be “more aggressive” in the campaign against dengue. He signed on July 5 Executive Order No. 016 declaring dengue outbreak in the entire province.

Last month the Provincial Health Office (PHO) already expressed concern over the strain that rising dengue cases were putting on the blood supply in the province. To beef up Red Cross’ blood stocks, local government units (LGUs) here were urged to conduct bloodletting.

Kinahanglan damuon ta pa gid ang aton nga blood collection,” said Dr. Ma. Socorro Colmenares Quiñon of the PHO.

Aside from dengue, she also cited complicated pregnancies and childbirths, and mothers with postpartum hemorrhage needing blood transfusion.

It was a good thing, said Quiñon, that district hospitals were actively campaigning for blood donations.

One of the district hospitals’ laudable practices, she said, was to require pregnant women about to give birth to bring blood donors.

“Kun nagabusong ang nanay kinahanglan ang tatay mangita blood donor or ang tatay mismo ang mangin blood donor. Ingkaso kinahanglanon ni misis sa pagbata, may yara na kuhaan sang dugo,” said Quiñon.

Red Cross has the following tips to those intending to donate blood:

* Have enough rest and sleep.

* No alcohol intake 24 hours prior to blood donation.

* No medications for at least 24 hours prior to blood donation.

* Have something to eat prior to blood donation, avoid fatty food.

* Drink plenty of fluid, like water or juice.

A synchronized dengue cleanup drive in the entire province was also launched on July 6. It was spearheaded by the mayors, municipal and barangay officials, health workers, teachers, and other stakeholders. It will be done in four Saturdays of July.

“What is more important is we are able to sustain the cleanup drive. And it should be part of our daily habit, not just because we have a problem on dengue,” Defensor said.

From Jan. 1 to June 29, suspected dengue cases in the province totaled to 4,306, including 20 deaths. This is 777 percent higher than the 491 cases during the same period last year, according to the PHO.

Records from the Hospital Management Office show that as of July 8, there were 769 dengue patients admitted in all provincial and district hospitals. (LHC, Capitol News/PN)


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