Bhutan joined world blood donation day
Aday to focus on the value of donated blood to the endless patients, not only in saving lives, but also in helping people live longer and lead a more productive life, Bhutan joined world blood donor day which was sponsored by Bank of Bhutan last Wednesday.
During the day, Health Minister, Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk said that, Bhutan is celebrating the day with the goal to promote and to obtain 100 percent blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.
Lyonpo said that Bhutan has currently achieved 77 percent blood donations from the voluntary non-remunerated blood donors. “Bhutan remains committed in reaching 100 percent voluntary non-remunerated blood donors by 2020.”
Bhutan has seen an increase in the requirement of blood due to the increase in chronic noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, kidney and liver diseases but Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk also said that Bhutan is already experiencing an increase in the road traffic accident emergencies.
The continued demand of blood in conditions like pregnancy and child birth-related complications add to this burden, said the Lyonpo.
Lyonpo further said that regular voluntary blood donors are the safest source of blood, as there is fewer blood born infections among these donors than among people who donate for family members/friends in emergencies. “Blood collection from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors is the cornerstone of a safe and sufficient blood supply.”
Lyonpo said that country being located in the fragile young Himalayan range is at risk of natural hazards such as earthquake, wind-storm, forest fire, landslide, flashflood, glacial lake outburst flood causing threat to the lives and property.
An emergency plan for blood transfusion needs to be in place. “Every single person can help others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gifts of blood. Therefore, it’s important to give blood regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises,” said the Lyonpo.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 62 of the 194 member states collect 100 percent of their blood supply from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
A message from the Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia Region, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh stated that the need for blood is universal, millions of patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood and there is a major imbalance between developing countries in access to safe blood.
In her message, she said that today, around 15.9 million units of blood are collected annually against the estimated requirement of 18 million units annually in the WHO South-East Asia Region.
She added that of these, around 82 percent of donated blood is obtained from voluntary non-remunerated donors.
The ultimate goal is for every member state is to achieve 100 percent voluntary and unpaid blood donations by 2020, she added.
Meanwhile, during the day, 16 donors who had donated more than 15 times received certificates for appreciation were awarded by the Health Minister.
Nima 43 years old, who donated since 1994 said that he donates blood for the benefit of others who really needs blood. He added that in the time of emergencies, it’s very difficult for them to get blood. So, if we donate then it will be accessible to get for the needy people.
Meanwhile, 180 volunteers came for blood donation. However, because of low blood pressure and less hemoglobin counts, only 109 could donate the blood. And same campaigns were also conducted in Kanglung, Tsirang and Phuentsholing.
Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck also donated blood during the world blood donor day. This year the theme of the day is “Don’t wait until the disaster strikes. What can you do? Give Blood, Give Now, Give Often.”