#WorldBloodDonorDay: WHO urges people to give blood, save lives

Robie de Guzman   •   June 12, 2019   •   3507

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the public to donate blood ahead of the celebration of the World Blood Donor Day on June 14 (Friday).

In a Twitter post, the WHO Philippines called on the public to participate in a blood donation drive they will organize with the Philippine Blood Center on June 13 (Thursday).

The bloodletting activity will be held in Sta. Cruz town, Manila from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“In early celebration of #WorldBloodDonorDay, WHO Philippines will be organizing a blood donation drive on 13 June, with the Philippine Blood Center,” the WHO Philippines announced.

“Join us at our office inside the @DOHgov compound from 9am to 4pm. Donate blood, save lives!” the agency added.   

According to the WHO website, the theme for this year’s campaign is blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion, as a component of achieving universal health coverage.   

The slogan “Safe blood for all” was also developed to raise awareness on the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care and the crucial roles that voluntary donations play in achieving the goal of universal health coverage.

The WHO said the theme aims to strongly encourage more people all over the world to donate blood regularly, and to urge all governments and health authorities to provide adequate resources and implement systems to increase blood collection, promote/implement appropriate clinical use of blood, and to set up policies for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III emphasized the need for blood especially during rainy season when mosquito-borne disease called dengue is more prevalent in the Philippines.

“That’s the time when you will have to consider ensuring availability of blood. In areas of identified hotspots, you have to ensure that delivery units have adequate stock of blood,” Duque said.

Aside from raising awareness, according to the WHO, the event also “serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.”The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2019 is Rwanda and the global event will be held in Kigali on June 14.

DOH probes 77 hospitals for illegal detention complaints

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 5, 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) is looking into 77 hospitals that are facing complaints for illegally detaining patients due to ‘unsettled’ hospital bills.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that patients who experienced illegal detention by the hospitals will be given justice. He also added that the cases are expected to be resolved by March 2020.

Duque said that Republic Act No. 9439 or Anti-Hospital Detention Law, it is prohibited for patients to be illegally detained due to unpaid hospital bills.

He also reminded hospitals that they cannot choose patients and there is no guarantee that all patients have the capability to pay their hospital bills.

“Ang mga nakasuhan, karamihan mga pribadong mga opistal na ayaw paalisin ang mga pasyente komo hindi makabayad. (The accused, most of them are private hospitals who refused their patients to leave because they cannot settle their bill)” he said.

The 77 pending complaints are currently being reviewed by the DOH’s Health Facilities Oversight Board (HFOB). Several of the complaints were filed in 2018.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH warns public against unregistered medical devices in online shops

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public against unregistered medical devices that are being sold in online shops.

This includes wound dressing and gauze without a certificate of product registration (CPR) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

DOH Health Regulation Team Assistant Secretary Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande has advised that the public should verify they are buying from a legitimate medical supplier or pharmacy when buying medical supplies, devices, and medicines.

Grande also said that pharmacies should also get a license for online ordering.

“Pharmacies should get license for online ordering so people can order medicines from them online [but] it’s for pick-up and not for delivery,” she said.

The FDA already released an advisory to the public to refrain from buying unregistered medical devices online.

“Pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9711, otherwise known as the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009”, the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising or sponsorship of health products without the proper authorization is prohibited,” the advisory reads.

The FDA assures violators will face regulatory actions and sanctions.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

The cold winds are rising: How to stay healthy amid cold weather illnesses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 29, 2019

The cold winds are rising, and cold weather illnesses are coming.

No season is a good season to get sick so it is better to prepare your body to prevent any illnesses especially those that are most common during the cold season.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesman Eric Domingo said flu season is already starting in other countries and is slowly reaching the country. Domingo also advised the public to be more vigilant especially when flu season begins.

“Ang flu season medyo nag-umpisa na sa ibang bansa at dito sa atin medyo parating na rin iyan (Flu season is already in other countries and is slowly making its way into the country) and we really advise everybody to be more extra vigilant kapag ganito na malapit na ang flu season (especially when flu season is almost here),” he said.

But if you are already feeling the flu, here are some remedies you can try.

  • Stay hydrated: Drink warm lemon water, fresh fruit/vegetable juice.
  • Sip hot soup/broth
  • Gargle warm water with salt for your sore throat
  • Drink tea that has anti-viral or anti-bacterial properties (Green or black tea, turmeric fresh or dried ginger, ginger paste, fresh garlic cloves
  • Use humidifier inside your home to prevent the further spread of virus
  • Wear face mask or always cover your mouth while coughing
  • Wash your hands regularly

The DOH also reminds the public not to take medicine without proper doctor’s prescription. The health department also encourages people to get vaccinated.

“Mahirap din po na magkaroon ng komplikayon ang flu, katulad ng pneumonia na maaaring ikamatay ng mga matatanda, (It is difficult to have complications due to the flu or pneumonia which dangerous to the elderly)” Domingo said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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