THE PHILIPPINE Red Cross (PRC) Leyte Chapter expressed gratitude to all blood donors and those involved in its advocacy for safe, adequate and quality blood supply to respond to emergencies.

Red Cross Leyte Chapter chairman Miguel Tezon said that donors are heroes for giving a part of themselves to save the lives of others, mostly strangers to them.

The chapter held a mass blood donation (MBD) on Sunday at the Robinsons Place during the celebration and gathered 74 units of bags of blood at 450ml each bag.

The MBD continues at the chapter office Wednesday as more donors were not accommodated at the mall.

This year’s theme for the celebration as approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) was “Thank You for Saving My Life.” With emphasis on the slogan “Give Freely, Give Often. Blood Donation Matters.”

The theme focuses on thanking the blood donors who save lives everyday.

“They are modern-day heroes. We are forever grateful to them. We need more of them so others may live or to extend the life of others. We are inviting more voluntary unpaid blood donors as the need for quality and safe blood is increasing. We are campaigning for more volunteers as we are serving the blood needs of the provinces of Leyte and Biliran,” Tezon said.

According to Nilda Quiero, chief of the PRC blood bank section, said the donor just have to pass all the necessary health checks before they can donate blood.

The donor will be interviewed, agree for blood pressure check up, weigh-in, blood testing and if one passed the interview and health checks, the process of taking blood takes place that only takes 15 minutes.

Red Cross chairman Richard J. Gordon in a statement said that the PRC is thanking all the blood donors around the country for their selflessness in giving their precious blood to extend the lives of others.

“Your blood donation spells the difference between life and death,” Gordon said.

In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by super typhoon Yolanda, the Philippine Red Cross flew in several bags of blood to Leyte and Samar to save the lives of Yolanda survivors. The blood came from the headquarters in Manila, Cebu and other parts of the country.

The equipment of the blood bank of Red Cross were all damaged that chairman Gordon saw to it that a week after the storm, two blood bank refrigerators were brought in at the command center of the organization at the Leyte Park Hotel grounds.

“We provided blood needs of patients even in private hospitals in Eastern Visayas region,” Quiero said.

Quiero, worked continuously after the storm to serve the blood needs of survivors, until her reliever reported for work. Even if every day after work, she has to search the missing body of her only sibling which she luckily found after two weeks.

Gordon said that the PRC has 82 Blood Service Facilities all over the country including the newly opened PRC Blood Tower Center along EDSA and Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong that has storage capacity of 3,000 units at a time.

The new equipments at the Blood Bank Centers at PRC Ormoc City and Leyte chapters were donated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) after super typhoon Yolanda in their commitment to help the devastated areas.

The PRC also has programs for indigents in cooperation with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) under the Blood Samaritan Funds. They have to present blood request, certificate of indigency from the hospital social worker or certificate from the village where they reside. PNA

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