SPMC Journal of Health Care Services

Donations to Southern Philippines Medical Center during the COVID-19 quarantine

SPMC J Health Care Serv. 2020;6(2):1 ARK: http://n2t.net/ark:/76951/jhcs7uy4p7

Vimar Conmigo1

1Public Health Unit, Southern Philippines Medical Center, JP Laurel Ave, Davao City, Philippines

Correspondence Vimar Conmigo, vimarconmigo@yahoo.com

Received 30 July 2020

Accepted 17 September 2020

Cite as Conmigo V. Donations to Southern Philippines Medical Center during the COVID-19 quarantine. SPMC J Health Care Serv. 2020;6(2):1. http://n2t.net/ark:/76951/jhcs7uy4p7

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected millions of people in almost all countries and territories around the globe.1 Most regions have been forced into varying levels of lockdown depending on the impact of the disease in the affected region. Many hospitals were also overwhelmed with the volume of patients--both those with COVID-19 and those with other conditions--despite optimizing and modifying service delivery platforms in response to the pandemic. Health facilities struggled to cope with the pandemic, rendering them unprepared for the sudden strain on the delivery of health services and hospital operations, and for the shortage of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).2 3 4 5 6 The community quarantine which started in Davao City on March 15, 20207 also limited the delivery flow of these supplies to the frontline healthcare workers. Patients from Davao City and other nearby cities suspected of having COVID-19 began to be referred to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

SPMC, as the designated main COVID-19 facility in Davao City, has modified its healthcare services, as well as its medical and administrative operations, during quarantine in order to cater to both patients with COVID-19 and those with other conditions.8 The Emergency Department focused a good portion of its services in treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Several wards and intensive care units were restructured in order to become dedicated for patients with COVID-19. The Outpatient Department started accepting patients by telemedicine only. The deployment schemes of hospital personnel, especially those who provide direct patient care, were reorganized to focus on the management of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Hospital personnel from clinical departments that did not have specific roles in COVID-19-related operations were assigned other functions to help mitigate the difficult challenges encountered by the hospital.

Because of the large number of donations pouring in from different individuals and organizations in order to help SPMC’s frontline healthcare workers, the hospital was compelled to devise a systematic way of receiving and documenting donated items. The material donations greatly helped address the hospital’s dwindling supply of PPEs, medical supplies, and cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing solutions, especially during the early days of the quarantine. Private companies, restaurants, and charitable individuals donated meals to show their appreciation for the great contribution of our frontline healthcare workers during this pandemic. Because of the lack of a public transportation system during the quarantine, several hotel, lodge, and inn owners and even private individuals also started offering free accommodations to hospital personnel who live far from the facility.

The staff of the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine Department took the responsibility of receiving and documenting all donations received by SPMC during the quarantine. The full extent of the undertaking involved: (1) receipt and verification of items for recording, (2) taking of photos with donors along with the donated items, (3) recording of the donors’ names and items received, (4) issuing of acknowledgment forms, (5) notifying the Dietary Department for food donations and the Material and Management Section for medical supplies and PPE donations, (6) issuing endorsement forms and recording of the name of the personnel who received the items, and finally, (7) encoding of all items received during the day.

All in all, from March 24, 2020 to August 5, 2020, SPMC received a total of 10,830 pieces of personal protective equipment (isolation gowns, face shields, surgical gloves, face/surgical masks, hair caps, goggles, rubber boots, and sandals), 29 gallons of various cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing solutions, and 472 pieces of medical supplies (suction catheters, tracheostomy tubes, intravenous cannulae, intravenous solutions, syringes, and tongue depressors).

Giving donations in any form, especially during crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, symbolizes solidarity among the people experiencing the crisis. Every individual has a significant role to play during this pandemic. SPMC hospital personnel, whose role is to provide frontline healthcare services in this battle against a virus, are tremendously grateful for the generous support extended to them by the community through donations.


VC contributed to the conceptualization of this article. The author wrote the original draft, performed the subsequent revisions, approved the final version, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of this report.


I would like to thank the following people for helping me develop this article: Ms Loida Pelegrino of the Public Health Unit of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) for providing me the list of donors; Ms Janeine Carla Yap and Mr Aljun Asuncion of the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine in SPMC for acquainting me with the process flow of receiving and encoding donated items; Ms Guilerma Apigo of the Dietary Department in SPMC for giving information regarding the proper distribution of food donations in SPMC; and Ms Catalina Bersabal of the Materials Management Section in SPMC for the information on the proper handling of personal protective equipments for the health care workers in SPMC.

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Competing interests

None declared

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6. Tantuco V. IN NUMBERS: What hospitals need to treat COVID-19 patients. 2020 Mar 28 [cited 2020 Oct 7]. In: Rappler [Internet]. Pasig: Rappler Inc. c2020. Available from: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/numbers-what-hospitals-need-treat-coronavirus-patients.

7. Office of the City Mayor of Davao. A declaration to declare the entire Davao City under a community quarantine, Executive Order No. 10 series 2020 (2020 March 15).

8. Perandos-Astudillo CM. Modified health care services of SPMC as a designated COVID-19 facility. SPMC J Health Care Serv. 2020;6(1):2. http://n2t.net/ark:/76951/jhcs8bw37y

Copyright © 2020 V Conmigo.

October 7, 2020

Volume 6 Issue 2 (2020)

Health care focus

SPMC Journal of Health Care Services


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