To celebrate the spirit of working together, the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday commemorated the National Organ and Blood Awareness Week by recognizing organ donors as modern day heroes.
In a Beat COVID-19 Virtual Presser, Health OIC-Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire discussed the importance of organ donation and how Filipinos can contribute to the project headed by Dr. Francisco Escueta-Sarmiento, the program manager of the Philippine Organ Donation and Transplantation Program (PODTP).
“Maaaring dumating ang panahon na hindi na magpa-function ng maayos ang ilang parte ng ating katawan, at kakailanganing palitan ito ng mas malusog na organ (Time might come some parts of our body will not function anymore, and need to be replaced by health organ),” Vergeire said. “Ngunit kahit gustuhin man natin at may kakayahan, hindi parating may available na organ at madalas ay limitado ang ating options. (But even if we want and have resources, organs are not always available and most of the time we have limited options).
Organ donation is managed by the PODTP and the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (PhilNOS), a completely free and voluntary process.
According to Sarmiento, a single donor can save up to eight lives, while human tissue, such as skin and bone marrow, can save and improve lives of up to 50 people.
Sarmiento encouraged the public to be open minded with organ and tissue donation.
“Kahit po tayo ay pumanaw na, mas magiging makabuluhan ang ating buhay dahil maililipat po natin ang bahagi ng ating katawan sa iba pang naghihintay at nangangailangan ng ating tulong (If we die, we will have meaningful life because parts of our body will be transferred to those who need them),” Sarmiento said.
Interested donors may reach out to the DOH and PhilNOS to sign up for a Life Linecard, which adds volunteers to the national registry of organ donors. By building a nationwide network of people who promote organ donation, patients who require surgery have a better chance of receiving the organs they need.
“Katulad ng (Like) blood donation, ang organ at tissue donation ay (are) selfless acts,” said Vergeire. “Sa pamamagaitan ng pag-volunteer ng ating dugo, organ o anumang tissue, makakatulong tayo sa mga taong nasa kritikal na kundisyon at sa ating sarili upang manatiling malusog sa laban sa Covid-19 (Through voluntary giving of blood, organ or any tissue, we can help patients in critical condition while we can stay health against coronavirus disease).”(PNA)