Sen. Angara rejected as ‘blood donor' due to Palawan trip
Senator Sonny Angara was rejected by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as “blood donor” after taking a trip to Palawan recently. In his @sonnyangara account on Instagram, he posted a photo of him smiling at a PRC facility in Manila after he and wife Tootsy went there
in response to a friend’s birthday gift request for them to become blood donors. Angara made the post two days ago, where he said he tried but got rejected. “Tried to donate blood today (September 15) but both (including wife) got rejected because of our recent trip to Palawan (sad emoji inserted) but what a great idea on the part of a friend to do this for his birthday (thumbs up emoji inserted),” the senator said. He did not say when he and wife Tootsy traveled to Palawan. Vic de Leon, Palawan PRC chapter administrator, explained the senator “deferral” was “possibly” due to a 2010 revised Department of Health (DOH) Blood Donation Manual that precludes “travelers from malaria-endemic areas are from donating due to exposure for at least six months.” De Leon said this is because the parasite that causes malaria can lay dormant in an individuals system for a long time. “Di naman rejected kundi deferred ang term na ginagamit doon. Kasi ang presumption ay kapag galing ka sa isang malaria-endemic area ay exposed ka sa disease. Hindi kailangan na may sakit kung hindi kasi malaria-endemic nga ang Palawan. DOH guideline ito na sinusunod talaga sa mga PRC facilities sa kahit saan,” he pointed out. De Leon also said individuals who have been treated of malaria “can only donate blood after three years, as long as an antigen test can prove they are cured and have not had recurrences.” Antigen detection, he said, is a rapid form of diagnostic of the malaria parasite in the system of a patient. “Kapag sa ibang lugar galing ang mga donors, lahat yan sabay-sabay i-test. Pero kapag galing ng Palawan talagang may special treatment sa testing na hiwalay talaga,” De Leon said.