The Dugong Atenista program has reached its tenth year through its nineteenth blood drive on 6 February 2016 at Xavier Hall, Ateneo de Naga University. Some 335 donors participated in this latest activity, surpassing the program’s previous count in August 2015 (315). In sum, the decade-old program has collected 4,410 donations.
Launched in 2007, the Dugong Atenista program was created by ADNU’s Office of Student Affairs and partner Bicol Medical Center, to respond to medical needs of the University community. The two parties were impressed by the ADNU community’s initial reception of the program and cognizant of the growing needs for safe and available blood during emergencies, so they formalized their partnership in a Memorandum of Agreement in January 2008.
In ten years, Dugong Atenista has served close to 300 referrals for Ateneans, including their immediate families and friends. It has helped thousands of unknown patients in Bicol as facilitated by BMC.
The service of Dugong Atenista extended outside the region when the collected blood donations in December 2013 were sent to a ship-hospital in Tacloban, Leyte to supply the needs of patients in the Yolanda-hit area.
To respond more to patients in need of blood platelets, instead of plasma, the OSA has developed a database of recruited on-call donors. These donors are those who do not participate in the two bloodletting activities but become available for cases like dengue and anemia.
The OSA in July 2008 redesigned Dugong Atenista as a formation program, by introducing processing sessions to deepen the experiences of donors, especially students. Here, donors gather after each bloodletting activity in a processing session, where their motivations for donating blood are revisited, and their experiences recounted. The program strives to motivate the donors to continue giving blood as an important, healthy and heroic act.
The program has also facilitated the formation of volunteers. The Donor Care, composed of Nursing students, are trained by BMC and tasked to assist the phlebotomists during the extraction of blood in the drives. The OSA has tapped volunteer-organizations like the ADNU Red Cross Youth which help the organizers during promotion or advocacy campaign and actual bloodletting activities.
Over the years, the program has tried to popularize easy-to-memorize themes highlighting ideas of love and heroism, and inviting Ateneans, especially the students, to participate in the bloodletting activities and develop the formation that they can gain from the program.
Outside the traditional bloodletting activities, recruited on-call donors have made themselves available for emergencies. On wash days, students ordinarily wear the Dugong Atenista shirts that feature themes of heroism, and, as a good consequence, become walking promoters and advocates of the life-saving program.
Year 10 and Beyond
In the latest activity at Xavier Hall, where the program has been usually held, the students were again the top-donor sector, registering 255 donors or 76%of the total count. Ninety four percent of this number said that they represented some 30 student organizations. The top-donors groups were the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants, Association of Bicol Business Students, Association of Nursing Students of Ateneo, The Ateneo Consortium of Technological Information and Computing Sciences, Association of Psychology Students of Ateneo , Ateneo Biology Majors, Ateneo Engineering Council, Samahang Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyong Pilipino and Digital Artists’ League of Ateneo.
The faculty and staff contributed 25 donors, while the alumni shared 28 donors. There were 27 non-Atenean donors, which include ten men from the Philippine Army.
The regular donors accounted for 79% of the total count. According to the organizers, the growth in the number of regular donors is a success indicator of the program’s formative intent. On the other hand, there were 71 (21%) individuals who donated for the first time. Together, the figures of repeat and first time donations affirm the sustainability of the program.
In July this year, Dugong Atenista will conduct its twentieth bloodletting activity, which is still part of its anniversary celebration. The OSA and BMC also plan to organize an event where they can recognize the program’s milestones and thank the regular donors and supporters of the program.
(For more detailed data on the recent Dugong Atenista bloodletting activity, please visit the OSA.)
Note from OSA: The Office of Student Affairs would like to express its gratitude to all those who helped in the promotion, preparations and actual conduct of DUGONG ATENISTA bloodletting. Particularly, OSA thanks the following: the College of Nursing, especially clinical instructors and Donor Care, the Supreme Student Government, Center for Community Development – Community Outreach Program, OSA student volunteers, various student organizations, ADNU Red Cross Youth, Media Studies Department, Patrick Molaer, Physical Plant Administration, among others. Truly, Dugong Atenista is a fruit of the community’s collaboration. Dios mabalos!