Youth have been encouraged to donate blood by regular donor in Ipoh

IPOH: Regular blood donor Nazran Mohd Nawawi hopes more youngsters will come forward to donate blood.

Nazran, 47, who works in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, said he has donated blood and made Apheresis donations about 300 times since the age of 18.

Nazran said his blood is categorised as rare due to the special type of platelets needed for people with certain diseases.

"I hope the younger generation will come forward for this noble cause, as their act not only helps save the lives of others, but it is also good for the health of the donor.

"I donated for the first time when I was still in school and have never stopped doing so," Nazran, who had O blood type, told reporters on Saturday (June 22).

Apheresis separates platelets and plasma from the blood while the donor is hooked up to a machine.

Nazran was among 79 blood donors awarded the title of individual with a rare blood type who has donated blood the most times to the National Blood Centre.

The appreciation event was held in conjunction with the National World Blood Donors celebration at the state secretariat’s banquet hall.

Also, 22 blood donation campaign organisers received awards were presented by Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan.

Another donor, Ong Wah Pu, 53, who has donated blood 145 times, said the first time he donated blood was at the age of 18.

The sales and marketing director said at that time he was waiting for his SPM results.

"I went to donate blood, hoping that by doing something good, I would be blessed with good results.

"Thankfully, my results were good. I managed to enter Universiti Malaya to study engineering, and the rest is history.

"I have not stopped donating blood, and I urge those who have yet to donate blood to do so as their contribution to the nation, community, and those who need blood urgently," said Ong, who received the award for the individual who donated blood the most times to PDN for the male category.

Nurdin Isa, 43, from Perlis, who received the award for the highest number of Apheresis donations, said he started donating blood at the age of 18. It was only in 2000 that he became an Apheresis donor as well.

"The doctors told me that since my blood flow was good, it would be advisable for me to become an Apheresis donor as well.

"Donating blood and now being an Apheresis donor is my way of contributing to society," said the businessman.

Siti Laili @Janaidah Tasin, 53, from Sabah, said she first donated blood at the age of 35.

The former staff member at Queen Elizabeth Hospital said after coming across Thalassemia patients, she wanted to help them.

"Thus, I started donating blood to help save as many lives as possible," she added.

Blood donation drive organiser Stanley Chin, 54, said that since 2018, his association has organised 33 campaigns.

Representing Persatuan Amal Setia Gong Xian Zhe (KL and Selangor), Chin said a total of 8,272 blood packs have been handed over to the National Blood Centre.

"During the pandemic, the National Blood Centre saw a shortage of blood, and the association came forward to do whatever we could to help increase the number of blood donations," he added.

In his speech, Dr Muhammad Radzi said approximately 2.3% of the population in Malaysia were blood donors.

He said this figure was far lower than the international standard of 5.0%, and the target was to increase it to 3.5% by 2030.

He noted that the small pool of blood donors would decrease due to age and other factors if there was no more involvement from the community.

"Therefore, the ministry is targeting young people (aged 17 to 24 years) as new blood donors.

"To attract more young donors, the ministry is planning to digitalise the blood donor book for blood donation facilities.

"Through this application, blood donors can access their donation records more easily and quickly. They can also check the last donation date, the next donation date, information about the latest donation, blood donation locations, and mobile blood donation campaigns," he said.

He added that in the future, this application would also allow blood donors to make appointments for their donations, which will be more flexible and user-friendly.

"I believe this platform is our new future in how we manage and support blood donation activities in our country," he added.

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