Ramadan not an obstacle to donating blood, says Health Minister

PETALING JAYA: The country needs a minimum of 2,000 blood bags daily on average to maintain an ample blood supply, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said the Health Ministry's commitment to intensifying efforts in promoting the blood donation campaign, a collaborative initiative involving the Ministry, the National Blood Center and St John Ambulance Malaysia.

Despite having sufficient blood in the inventory, he stressed that it was crucial to ensure a "safe zone" by securing more blood stock.

"We need additional blood supplies even though the blood bank has sufficient blood."

He further highlighted that, during the Ramadan month, there were no restrictions on blood donation, and the primary concern lay in the health of the donors.

"Throughout Ramadan, you must obey the rules set by the holy month of Ramadan. Blood activity cuts across race and religion; after all, there is no problem from a religious law point of view to donate blood.

"The most important thing is that a person is healthy; that is the main condition," he said after inaugurating the inaugural St John Ambulance Malaysia Blood Donation Suite at 1 Utama shopping centre on Saturday (March 2).

Addressing concerns about a potential decline in blood donors, he noted that operational hours at blood donation centres would be extended to guarantee a stable blood inventory.

National Blood Centre Blood Procurement Division Donor Management Section head Dr Thane Moze Darumalinggam urged young adults aged 17 and above to step forward and donate blood.

"We urge the younger generation to take an active role in saving lives through blood donation. Every donation can make a significant impact on those in need," she added.

Dr Thane Moze revealed that the National Blood Centre successfully collected over 800,000 blood bags nationwide last year.

Despite this achievement, she stressed the crucial role of young donors in replenishing the ageing donor pool and ensuring a sustainable blood supply for the future.

According to her, to attract more youth donors, plans are underway to establish static donation sites in various locations throughout the country, making it easier for individuals to contribute to this life-saving cause.

"Our goal is to create a culture of regular blood donation among the youth to guarantee a steady and secure blood supply for all in need," she said.

This collaborative effort between the National Blood Centre, Ministry of Health Malaysia, and 1 Utama Shopping Centre aimed to provide a convenient and accessible location for blood donation.

Operating daily from 11am to 7pm since its launch in April 2021, the Blood Donation Suite at 1 Utama had successfully collected 28,852 bags of blood as of Jan 31 this year.

St John Ambulance Malaysia and the National Blood Center plan to establish more static blood donation centres in shopping centres, extending the initiative's reach.

St John Ambulance Malaysia has also opened a suite at 101 City Mall, Putrajaya, in collaboration with the National Blood Center, and the National Blood Center at MidValley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur.

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