Dugong Pinoy: Sustainable Blood Letting Program


A blood donation awareness & sustainable parish-based program was implemented at St. Joseph Parish- Bamboo Organ Church. This was collaborated with the Philippine National Red Cross. This was done on March 2007 – July 2008 as a pilot program.

The objectives of the project were as follows:


1. To assist in the provision of blood to the indigent patients of the St. Joseph Parish-Bamboo Organ Church and the Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission, Inc.

2. To establish a regular and sustainable blood letting program

3. To establish a health education program (re. Sanitation, disease prevention, and blood donation) in the five barangays of Las Pinas4. To establish a referral system in the procurement of blood for the indigent patients

A program springs from a problem which motivates a community to develop a solution. Oftentimes, these solutions are in a form of relief. However, these assistance often dissipate after the relief has been exhausted. This lack of continuity comes from the missing components of partnership, education and sustainable programs.

Problem --------------> Relief -----------> Sustainable Programs

Last March 9, 2008, in answer to the depleting stores in blood banks and the increasing cases of dengue requiring blood product transfusion, a blood letting program was conducted at the St. Joseph's Academy through a partnership between the Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission, Inc., St. Joseph Parish and the Philippine National Red Cross.

Blood donation is an unpopular gesture of altruism, hence a blood donation awareness was conducted with the parish community health workers last February 16, 2008. This was attended by the parish social worker and the following CHWs: Cresencia M. Teodoro, Ma. Theresa Moreno, Simona Tabuday, Aremnia Santos, Cresencia Teodoro, Elvie Vilanueva, Fermina Elna and Rosita Soriano. The CHWs from the different barangays were then mobilized to invite prospective donors and educate neighbors on blood donation.

On March 4, 2008, a campaign was done at the outpost of Barangay Manuyo together with the CHWs and the Barangay Tanods. The councilor for health and barangay captain also attended the campaign.

To improve the information dissemination, a house to house campaign per barangay with the community health workers is noted to be more effective. It is important to obtain their cellphone numbers or land line numbers to remind them of the said event. Reminding them by calling is more effective. Upon calling, the prospective donor must inform the organizer of the projected time he/ she would like to donate so that the team can foresee until what time they will wait for the donor. The blood letting can be done half day. The parishioners prefer to donate early in the morning particularly at 7:00am to 2:00pm. Thus, the medical team must be present early. 


Most of the parishioners have tattoos or are old. A prospect with a tattoo for more than a year is qualified. Ages 16 to 60 are able to donate. Those with age 16 and 17 however need consent from their parents. The blood letting was a form of relief, a single card would allow the holder to obtain a free 450cc bag of blood exclusive of the processing or screening fee which usually amounts to Php1,200 to 1,600 payable to the Red Cross Blood Bank. On the other hand, two cards allow the holder 1 bag of 450cc blood inclusive of the screening fee. The card holder can procure the blood from the Philippine National Red Cross Blood Center located at the Manila Free Port, outside the Intramuros Golf Course. However, the blood center needs to be contacted to ensure that the blood is available. The blood donors who surrendered their card will be given priority.

(2 cards = 1 bag , 1 card = 1 bag + screening fee)

If given indiscriminately, the nine (9) cards will easily be exhausted. These cards only amount to 9 free 450cc bags with screening fees or 4 free 450cc bags without screening fees, serving 4 to 9 patients only or even less if a patient requires more than one bag. Hence, there is a need to standardize and regulate the release of the cards. In addition, a regular blood letting program whether quarterly or annually can be established.
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