43 individuals in Bontoc donate blood

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Bontoc municipal government is eyeing more blood donors in this capital town following the fruitful conduct of the bloodletting activity on August 12, 2021, at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol auditorium.

According to Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Diga Kay Gomez, the working team was able to extract 19,350cc of blood (types O, A, B, and AB) or 43 bags of 450cc each from qualified donors who underwent the screening process. The blood extracted from the donors was turned over to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) – Mountain Province Chapter. Blood donors are members of the Bravo Company, 54th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, employees of the municipal government, personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection, and other volunteers from different agencies and barangays.

Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey was elated with the positive response from the blood donors/ volunteers and thanked them for their participation in the noble cause.  Likewise, he thanked the workforce for their dedication to their work.

He added that the blood donors are heroes worthy of emulation for strengthening the spirit of volunteerism.

“Bloodletting has always been one of our major social concerns since it is a noble and humanitarian need. Blood has now become a rare commodity, thus, a blood bank is needed right in our doorsteps,” Odsey said.

Sangguniang Bayan member Jerome Tudlong, Jr., who is also the Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Sanitation, joined Mayor Odsey in lauding the volunteers and the workforce in the realization of the bloodletting drive. He highlighted the free check-up for blood donors as stipulated in the Municipal Ordinance of Bontoc.

Sgt. Jomar Echanes of the Philippine Army who is one among the blood donors remarked that donating blood helps a lot of people needing a blood transfusion.

“If you donate blood, we help save a lot of people. Every bloodletting activity, I always participate as long as I am qualified,” he added.

Gerriebel Bragado, a seafarer who has experienced donating blood 13 times remarked that the bloodletting activity gives people the opportunity to extend help to those who need a blood transfusion.

“Donating blood is one way of helping others through simple ways, so I donate whenever I can,” Bragado mentioned.

Lea Chugyawi who has donated blood for the first time shared that she was anxious at first. However, she was motivated to do so with the thought that the blood she will donate will help save a life.

“I have mustered up my courage to come here since I know that this is a noble cause. My family has experienced the hardships of looking for a blood donor before, so this is one way of giving back to the community,” Chugyawi added.

According to medical technologist Jocelyn Coloma of the Municipal Health Office (MHO), the blood collected during the bloodletting drive will be tested for diseases like Hepatitis A&B, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and other sexually transmitted infections.

Coloma added that blood extracted from the blood donors will undergo the screening process to ensure that the blood is safe before it will be transfused to a patient in need.

She elaborated that the blood extracted from the blood donors during the bloodletting activity will last for 35 days. Yet, in most cases, all the blood donated by individuals is consumed before it expires.

The bloodletting drive was initiated by the municipal government through the MHO in partnership with the PRC-Mountain Province, Mountain Province Provincial Health Office, Bontoc General Hospital, Department of Health (DOH)-Mountain Province, and the respective municipal health offices of the different municipalities in Mountain Province.

The activity is in celebration of the 76th Birthday of Mayor Odsey and as part of the line-up activities in celebration of the 113th Bontoc Foundation Day on September 16, 2021.

Health officials say that when one donates blood, the old cells will be replenished with new cells and cholesterol will be regulated. By Christy Che-es & Alpine L. Killa