Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona has assured the public that the available blood supply in the country is safe and strictly screened.
Ona made the remarks to allay fears of possible blood transfusion of contaminated blood, especially from a person with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) following reports that a blood donor was tested HIV positive.
Ona explained that the mere fact that donor’s blood was found positive with HIV signals strict screening of blood donors.
“It means that we have a strong surveillance which is the reason why it detected infection of blood,” Ona added.
A prerequisite for blood safety is to have a well-organized national blood transfusion system based on voluntary, non-remunerated donations as well as qualified physician duly authorized by the Department of Health (DOH).
He encouraged the public to continue on donating blood as part of national advocacy to increase the supply of safe blood.
“The need for blood is great. On any given day, more than 2,000 blood units are transfused to patients in our country,” he said.
Some may need blood during surgery; while others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components. The Philippine Red Cross approximately supplies one-fourth of the country’s national blood requirements.