KUALA LUMPUR: More than 5,000 people are expected to participate in the nationwide blood donation and health awareness campaign, says Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
He urged the public to join the initiative as a way of giving back to the community to save the lives of fellow Malaysians.
"Donating blood doesn't cost us any money but has the potential to save many people's lives and as such, should be the responsibility of every healthy Malaysian citizen.
"Without the support of the public, it would be impossible for the National Blood Bank and other blood banks throughout the country to provide enough blood to meet our country's growing needs," he said.
Dr Noor Azmi also emphasised on the importance of learning how to take care of one's health in the overall effort to improve the general health of the public.
"The latest data shows that over half of the population is overweight or obese which shows a general lack of care and understanding among most of the people towards their own health," he said, noting that the current health literacy rate is only 30% among adult Malaysians.
"Obesity increases the risk of developing serious health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and many types of cancer which can in turn lead to the requirement of treatment or operations that will further deplete our blood bank reserves.
"Therefore, I hope Keluarga Malaysia will take the time to participate in the health talks, health screenings and health counselling services provided here for their own good and so they can educate their loved ones," he said during his speech at the launch of the campaign here.
According to the Blood Bank, around 2,000 bags of blood are used for 1,000-odd patients nationwide daily, with the Klang Valley accounting for over 25% of the total national blood bag usage.
The campaign starts from Monday (Sept 12) till Sept 15 at Medan Mara lobby here and is open to the public.
The nationwide campaign - organised by the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) in partnership with PDN and the National Association of Malaysian Life Insurance and Family Takaful Advisors (NAMLIFA) - is expected to run blood donation drives and events at over 40 locations nationwide from Sept 12 to Oct 31.
Free healthcare screenings and health counselling will be available along with other activities such as games, quizzes and lucky draws.