To express the common desire in creating a difference in someone’s life that runs from the blood of every Matias student, a Blood Letting Activity in partnership with the Department Of Health (DOH) Region VII Blood Center was conducted at the MHAM Library Extension last February 2, 2018 from 8:30 in the morning to 9:30 in the evening.
A record-breaking blood donation drive with two hundred (200) bags of blood units being collected within the school campus in just a single day, the life saving project was spearheaded by the Association of Philippine Medical Schools-Student Network (APMC-SN) national level in cooperation with the MHAM Student Council led by the Vice President-External and MHAM Representative to the APMC-SN, William Tiu Jr. and SC Internal Vice-President and Regional Chairman for the Blood Donation Campaign for the APMC-SN, Andrea Marie Tortugo.
This year, the APMC’s national campaign dubbed as “Juan Blood, Juan Life” was eagerly participated by the MHAM student-donors who willingly answered the call to give a ray of hope behind someone’s life.
Out of more than two hundred aspiring doctors who supported the noble cause in order to make a difference in someone’s life, two hundred cheerful donors qualified the eligibility criteria in blood letting, thus, becoming themselves as silent heroes of the day.
According to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) Medical Officer IV, Dr. Maita Fabella Mojado, the screening for blood donation eligibility is an important step to provide and ensure a safe blood supply to patients.
“This blood donation campaign is very significant to cope up the demand for blood transfusion particularly in the province in cooperation with the different schools in Cebu City. These medical students who will be rotating in the hospitals in the near future will be able to see and value the importance of blood donation campaign”, Dr. Mojado said in an interview.
Steered to follow the guidelines on assessing donor suitability through the two caveats for blood donation which involve safety for the donor and safety for the patient, this Medical Officer who led the DOH-MHAM blood letting activity also reiterated that the Donor History Questionnaire (DHQ) that they have provided was designed to ensure the safety of potential donors and recipients and to acquire quality blood units in the DOH-R7 Blood Center which is located within the vicinity of VSMMC.
Since January this year, the DOH-led blood donation campaign has been intensified in partnership with various participating institutions in Metro Cebu.
Dr. Mojado also added that in some cases out of those who volunteer to donate, a number of temporary deferred donors have been recorded due to either donor and recipient safety reasons such as lack of sleep, smoking before donation, intake of alcohol and usual infections like cough and colds. Permanent deferrals on the other hand, include risk behaviors like the use of injectable prohibited drugs, casual sexual intercourse with risky individuals and injectable medications like insulin and glutathione.
“Aside from saving lives by helping the patients, it is also a form of wellness awareness that blood donation is a handpicked activity while we are still in our healthy years. Rich and poor alike, everybody needs blood”, she concluded.
Responding to the call in saving lives and beyond is a Fil-Am sophomore student who selflessly gave hope to change someone else’s life through voluntary donation for the third time. A graduate of BS in Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University, Joseph Patrick Veloso who grew up in Connecticut, USA braved the challenge to become part of a noble mission to help those who are battling between life and death. An opportunity to join up with other Matias modern heroes, JP, as he is fondly called, was among the male donors who were qualified for the eligibility criteria.
“I decided to donate blood because I had previously donated last year and the thought to do it again since it is conveniently conducted in MHAM prompted me to do so. What is great about it is that we can donate in the blood banks to help get a large supply ready for use”, said Veloso in an interview.
Fostered with a sense of commitment and a fervor to serve, this 25-year old aspiring doctor is still willing to become a donor in the future to create a community where every able Matias donor saves lives by donating blood regularly. “The blood donated by the students today will help our fellow neighbors and local community in case of emergencies and to persons who are in need of blood transfusion. The adequate supply of blood in blood banks is essential to maintain so that when needed, it is readily available for someone in need”, he added.
Being a pioneer, the blood letting project was initiated by MHAM and has been adopted over the years by other medical schools in Cebu City. This signifying mission has been handed over the years by the previous MHAM student-leaders up to the present.
Late last year, a record-breaking blood donation drive with one hundred ninety-nine bags of blood units being collected among Matias students became the main highlight of the Student Council’s annual projects as a year-ender event.
A true service to mankind to be able to save someone’s life, today, various institutions and organizations are intensifying the blood donation campaign at multiple locations in order to cope up the immense demand for blood transfusion in the communities because the need of blood is certainly constant. A mission to sustain and a gift to give, the MHAM Student Body is always committed to this undertaking to help keep an adequate supply of safe and quality blood in the DOH blood bank. Such activities, to distinguish, will surely boost donors’ self-worth with a sense of responsibility because from donors to recipients, blood connects us all. (Ana Liza Abao)