Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Red Cross Seeks Blood Donations for Dengue Alert

Philippine Red Cross Chairman and Senator Richard J. Gordon has raised an urgent call to the public to support the Red Cross blood drive in response to the Department of Health's alert on the rise of dengue cases.

Gordon, who just arrived from a meeting of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, wasted no time in checking and reporting on the PNRC's readiness to respond to the dengue alert.

"The Department of Health's dengue alert should be taken seriously by everyone. The Philippine National Red Cross is working to maintain ample blood supplies, but we must ask the citizenry to do their part and volunteer in our ongoing blood drive," said Gordon.

The senator stressed that apart from ensuring ample supplies in areas where dengue is widespread, citizens volunteering to donate blood to the PNRC will ensure themselves and their families of blood for their own use when they need it.

For the past four months, the PNRC Blood Services was able to collect an average of 2,800 to 3,200 blood units/day. The daily national blood demand is 2,000 units per day.

Dengue hotspot cases were noted last month by the PNRC in Region 6 (Iloilo and Bacolod City) and Region 7 (Cebu City) and 5 barangays in Pangasinan. Last year's reported cases as per PNRC data for the month of August and September 2006, were 817 dengue cases as compared for this year at 1056 cases. Blood units served for August and September 2006, were 2,375 blood units against this year at 3,189 blood units.

The Department of Health declared a nationwide dengue alert after recording more than 24,000 cases and 283 deaths so far this year. The National Epidemiology Center reported that there were 4,000 infections in September alone.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported that as of July this year, Indonesia recorded about 68,000 cases, Thailand 24,000, and Cambodia 17,000. #

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