In celebration of the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday encouraged Filipinos, especially the youth, to donate blood to ensure a sustainable supply of blood products, especially during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the theme “Give Blood and Keep the World Beating”, the WBDD 2021 highlights the contributions of blood donors by saving lives, and reinforces the global call for people to donate blood regularly. The campaign also focuses on youth’s role in ensuring safe blood supply as they form a large sector in many societies.

In 2020, the total blood collection in the Philippines decreased by 22.8% compared to the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the need for blood and blood products by patients remained the same.

The DOH, through the National Voluntary Blood Services Program (NVBSP), has continuously ensured the supply of blood and blood products in the country through issuance of blood donors pass in areas with community quarantines, provision of free shuttle services to and from the blood service facilities, and Mobile Blood Donation (MBD) drives.

The NVBSP also held a virtual walkathon where the target of one million steps, which represents the 1% of total blood collection for the country, was collected through a mobile phone application from June 01-14. The virtual walkathon activity served as a physical activity for the youth to encourage a healthy lifestyle and to voluntarily donate blood.

The DOH called on the public to voluntarily donate blood to help patients needing blood and blood products. Moreover, the DOH urged the public to continuously practice the minimum public health standards and get vaccinated, when it’s their turn, to curb the transmission of COVID-19.