Alexa Tiu was shocked when, as soon as she got home from school, her mother told her terrible news. Her uncle had a car accident, was rushed to the hospital, and was in need of blood. Fortunately, Alexa’s blood type matched his. She then didn’t hesitate to donate her blood for him. And not for long, the operation of his uncle became a success. The sophomore Physical Therapy student said, “Blood donation is not just a healthy way to keep your body active in producing clean and fresh blood, but you can save lives as well.” Alexa is just one among the many blood donors who, according to the Philippine Red Cross, are the Filipino heroes for their contributions to the daily demand of up to 3000 blood units in the country.
However, not everyone has the determination to donate blood. From the study “Knowledge, Beliefs, Attitude and Behavior of Silliman University Students towards Blood Donation” led graduating Medical Technology students last year; the number of blood donors is not increasing. This is in spite of the fact that there are many people who are qualified to donate blood and there are several awareness campaigns that promote the significance of blood donation. The researchers of the study also include: Ana Vallesca Banquegiro, Emil Jeam Beltran, Charles Joseph Binghay, Sheena Rose Leduna, Psal Danette Lisondra, Regine Felise Nadela, Gabriel Paulo Orosco, Jee Anne Pacarro, Airell Ann Perdido, and Una Aeka Uriarte. They performed a survey which showed that among the 369 Silliman students, only 18 or 5 percent had previously donated blood while 351 or 95 percent had never donated blood before the survey was conducted. Also in the results, the willingness of the respondents to donate blood was influenced by their beliefs and attitude.
One of the researchers, Una Aeka, said that people have somehow established their own stand on the matter of blood donation and this is affected by their attitudes and beliefs. One common example is the fear of needles. Due to this fear, someone can develop a strong negative attitude towards donating blood which can result to the person’s disinclination.
However, the negative upshots have to be considered. Numerous instances of death from blood-related diseases have ascended because of the deficiency of blood on hand for transfusion in blood donation centers, according to the Department of Health. It is due to the scarcity of blood donors which is a continuing problem that the Filipinos were not able to address. The Philippine Red Cross has tried things to solve the crisis by persuading Filipinos who are in good physical shape to donate blood willingly. Sadly, the donors have persistently been decreasing.
There is still hope to make things right. Every single blood matters for it can save precious lives. Physical Therapy freshman Abigail Go believes that this generation needs more heroes. Even though she is unable to donate blood, Abigail has always attended to blood donation campaigns. She has always admired people who are willing to give their blood. “They bear the sting of the needle and look up to see their blood flowing from the body into the bag. It is all just to make sure that someone gets better or lives a tad bit longer,” she says.
The researchers of the study have a message to all Sillimanians: “In every tick of the clock, there are always people who are desperately in need of blood. Unfortunately, most of them are not immediately given a blood transfusion because of the lack of blood donors and blood units. We think that with this fact alone, Sillimanians will be able to capture the picture we are trying to paint, that with even just a pint of your blood, you can really make a difference, you can save lives. Just imagine how fulfilling it is to know that with your small gesture, you just made somebody see another sunrise. Never donate for the incentives. Never do it for the money. Do it because you are willing to give a part of yourself.”
By Shane Marie K. Canono