Saving lives through blood donation drives

Mohamad Rafiai (second from left) hitting the gong three times to declare open the campaign while Dr Ngian (second from right) looks on.

SIBU: Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) Sibu District will continue to advocate for voluntary blood donation as this is the most effective way to stock up Sibu Hospital blood bank.

Speaking at the MRCS National Blood Donation campaign, blood donor recruitment sub-committee organising chairperson MRCS Sibu District, Dr Ngian Hie Ung said it was more troublesome for people to go directly to the hospital blood bank to give blood.

“Blood procurement is still very much dependent on blood donation campaigns, which constitute 73% of blood procured instead of at the hospital blood bank,” said Dr Ngian who is also Sibu Hospital director.

She said in 2018, a total of 82 organisations were involved in such campaigns, 56% of which organised at least twice per year.

This is an improvement of 46.2% over the year 2017.

In 2017, there were 78 organisations involved in blood donation drives, which was an increase from 71 in 2016.

She added that last year, a 8,155 pints of blood were procured compared with 7,485 pints in the previous year.

“Around 81% of the blood are from regular donors as per previous three years. This year, we are seeing a similar pattern,” she said.

Despite the amount collected, she said it was still not enough for Sibu District.MRCS national vice-chairman Mohamad Rafiai Mohtar, who launched the event, said every hospital nationwide needed 2,000 packs of blood daily to meet patients’ needs.

“The Health Ministry reported that 70% of the donors are regular donors for the past five years.

“In 2018, a total of 694,473 packs of blood were collected nationwide, of which 228,145 packs were from new donors,” he added.

The majority of the recipients were women in childbirth, people with inherited blood disorders and those with haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions.

Meanwhile, Sarawak emerged champion at the 2018 national-level blood donation campaign with a total of 39,654 pints of blood collected.

Kuching won the district-level campaign with 22,911 pints collected while the Youth section of Federation of Kuching & Samarahan Division Chinese Association won the private sector category with 2,682 pints.

For the individual category, the winner was Ismail Brahim, who donated 141 pints of his blood.

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