Strict screening of blood donors urged

A PARTY-LIST lawmaker called for a thorough screening of blood donors after reports revealed that at least 124 units of donated blood in the first 10 months of 2010 were found contaminated with HIV.

Rep. Sherwin Tugna said the Department of Health should strictly monitor blood donation in the country to avoid jeopardizing the lives of people.

“We have to closely look at the blood donation scheme in the country because the possibility of serious spread of HIV is always there, especially if the system is left unchecked,” said Tugna.

Rep. Arnel Ty cited a DoH report about the confirmation made by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on the donated blood units that were contaminated with HIV.

It was based on the National Voluntary Blood Safety Program which monitors the purity of donated blood.

Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a doctor by profession, said the problem must push Congress to pass the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) measure to ensure that HIV/AIDS should not affect many Filipinos.

Garin said the use of condoms could prevent the spread of the dreaded disease which is a global concern.

“We have to ensure protection for our people by giving them freedom of informed choice. The RH measure will help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS which is becoming a major problem in some countries in the world,” said Garin.

Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. vowed to put to vote in the plenary the measure, which is opposed by the Catholic Church. RT

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