GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Aug. 9— The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the establishment of a special body that will manage efforts to ensure the stability of blood supplies and availability during emergency in the province.
Dr. Alah Baby Vingno, assistant head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Wednesday they are working with the office of South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes for the issuance of an executive order that would set the creation of a Provincial Blood Council.
She said the establishment of the proposed council is mainly aimed to strengthen the coordination and networking of blood service facilities in the province.
It will also lead initiatives to ensure “effective, efficient and well-coordinated implementation” of the voluntary blood donation program in the area.
The official said the council will be tasked to lead the formulation of a local blood donation plan and program, as well as in public education, advocacy and donor recruitment activities.
It will assist the setting of mobile blood collection activities, fund sourcing or fund raising activities, and the strengthening of linkages with local hospitals, she said.
She said the council will also coordinate and monitor the implementation of local blood donation program.
Vingno said they pushed for such move following consultations with concerned government and non-government organizations and other public and private institutions.
“This is to facilitate wider involvement on voluntary blood donation and ensure adequate supply of safe blood in our communities through our partnerships, coordination, and networking,” she said.
The IPHO listed around 4,000 blood donors in various activities conducted in the province from January to June this year.
Records showed that 94.60 percent of donated blood were utilized for patients and only one percent were discarded.
About 89 percent of the donors submitted themselves voluntarily and 10.5 percent were for replacement.
“The DOH has mandated us to stop replacement blood donation and instead achieve 100 percent voluntary blood collection for patients. The policy says that replacement blood donation is illegal,” Vingno stressed.
In South Cotabato, there are eight established blood stations, two blood banks and a blood collection unit.
These are located in Koronadal City and in the municipalities of Suralah, Norala and Polomolok.