UAE Press: Blood donors are life savers

ABU DHABI, Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients across the world requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. Such unavailability of blood often leads to preventable deaths, an editorial in a local English language daily has said.

The editorial, in today’s edition of The Gulf Today, added, “Blood is the most precious gift anyone can give to another person the gift of life.”

Providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure, as World Health Organisation officials suggest.

Just last week, Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Dubai Blood Donation Centre underlined the importance of blood donation, indicating that while all blood types are needed, negative blood types are in greater demand due to their rarity.

As per Dr. Mai Raouf, Director of the Dubai Blood Donation Centre, only 0.6 percent of the UAE population are AB negative, 1.8 percent are B negative, 2.4 percent are A negative, 4 percent are O negative. The O-positive blood types are most common and are found in 38.6 percent of the population.

There is a continuous demand for all blood types as blood lasts for only 42 days and, hence, donors are always needed to come forward to replenish these stocks.

Interestingly, the Dubai Blood Donation Centre, which has an international accreditation from the American Association of Blood Banks since 2012, has taken a number of steps to provide smart services that ease the customer’s journey. Among them is the DAMMI App, which makes it easier to find the time and place to make blood donations in Dubai.

The app allows blood donors to answer donation eligibility questionnaire and read pre-donation educational material through their mobile phones before they reach the donation centre.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) provides blood donation services within the priority health services by providing blood units and their components for hospitals in the private and government sectors.

Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for Health Clinics and Centres, recently made an interesting observation that the UAE, with the support of its wise leadership, has become self-sufficient in safe blood, with 100 percent of the blood supply in the MoHAP coming from voluntary blood donations.

This has positioned the UAE at the regional level in terms of safe blood transfusion services.

“Blood donors, who help save several lives every year whether through regular or emergency donations, truly deserve a hearty salute,” concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Source: Emirates News Agency