Blood donation culture yet to take deep roots in society

KARACHI: Blood donation culture is yet to take deep roots in our society, and it high time to raise awareness about benefits of donating blood amongst our citizens, say expert on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, observed across the globe on June 14, 2013 (Friday) with a motto ‘”Give the gift of life: donate blood.”

This slogan serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. According to World Health Organisation, this year’s campaign, the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day, will focus on the value of donated blood to the patient, not only in saving life, but also in helping people live longer and more productive lives.

Speaking on the issue, Dr Zeeshan Ansari of Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) said that donating blood to someone needy is a healthy exercise and it also prevents the donor from several diseases including hypertension. “Although we do not recommend patients of blood pressure to donate blood but those who don’t have this disease can easily avoid it by donating blood after every four months.”

He said that about 20 years back, people don’t have any awareness about blood donation and they only donate it when any of their relatives need it but now awareness among the masses is gradually increasing and rate of donating blood has increased in last five years.

Fatmid Foundation is one of the major blood banks providing blood to the needy people. A Fatmid official, Irfan, told PPI that the amount charged while providing blood to the families of the patients was due to the cost of the blood bags and screening. “We do not sell blood, instead we charge money for the expenses born by the foundation on material and screening,” he said.

Moreover, Dr Qaiser Sajjad of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said that every person should donate blood so that it help in saving lives of several patients who urgently required it.

“Several diseases like HIV Aids, Malaria, and Hepatitis are rapidly spreading in our country and their tests are very costly but a person who donates blood can easily check the presence of these diseases as the blood goes through a screening process where it is checked for all diseases free of cost.”

He also urged people having unique blood groups like AB negative and O negative to frequently donate blood and remain in constant touch with the blood donation centers due to the scarcity of these groups’ donors.

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