THE Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas is set to hold the Sandugo Blood Olympics until October to reach the annual target of one percent blood collection from local government units (LGUs) and non-LGUs this year.

Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia said Western Visayas is celebrating World Blood Donors Month this July with a grand blood-letting activity to be held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel on July 16, while a national World Blood Donors Day celebration will be held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on July 14.

She said the region has a 7.5-million population, or one percent of the population is mandated for blood collection. The region was targeted to collect 75,983 units of blood in 2014 with the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental topping the list of donors.

However, Iloilo posted extreme shortage of blood collection, with only 4,000 units of blood of 450 millimeters each bag available out of 18,000 target units to meet the requests for more than 50 units per day, according to Dr. Dennise Pasadilla of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) regional blood center.

Sta. Luca said the regional Sandugo ceremony on November will award organizations, individuals and LGUs involve in the blood collection campaign.

The PRC, meanwhile, will award donors, organizations and LGUs in its July celebration.