The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), represented by the Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center, commemorated “World Blood Donor Day” under the theme “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.” The celebration honored a number of regular blood donors and supporters of blood transfusion services, in the presence of H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centers, Mrs. Safiya Al Shamsi, Director of Laboratories and Blood Bank, Dr. Fatma Sajwani, Medical Director of Blood Transfusion and Research Center-Sharjah and Mrs. Amal Abdulla, Administrative director.
The statistics of the Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center show that the number of blood units collected during 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, has reached a total of 27,848. The center has also organized 568 blood donation campaigns with various government and private institutions in cooperation with the local blood banks. The Ministry 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 Rand emphasized UAE’s annual celebration of the “World Blood Donor Day” to thank the regular blood donors for their humanitarian work and to raise the awareness of community members about the importance of providing safe blood transmission methods to accident victims and patients with conditions such as thalassemia and other anemias. The event was also organized to support the strategic blood banks of different hospitals in the UAE, in adherence with the Ministry’s initiative to provide comprehensive and innovative healthcare services according to the best medical practices and to develop the safest blood transfusion services according to the highest international standards. He pointed out that the UAE, with the support of its wise leadership, has become self-sufficient in safe blood, with 100% 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. The citizens are also among the top 96 nationalities considered to be active blood donors.
"Since blood can be afforded in the country by the commitment of 1% of the population to donate, blood banks are constantly organizing successive blood donation campaigns." The blood donation initiative is in line with the noble values of ' Year of Zayed' where H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan 'may God rest his soul' emphasized on the importance of the noble values that lay the foundations for a healthy community united.
Dr. Hussein mentioned the achievements of key blood banks in the UAE, including obtaining accreditation from the American Association of blood banks (AABB) and the JCI Accreditation Standards. Since 2008, the Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center has been a regional resource center in the Middle East by virtue of the World Health Organization (WHO). This milestone affirms the Center’s beneficial role and reflects the development and quality of its services in the fields of blood transfusion medicine, training and research.
According to Safiya Al Shamsi, the Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center organizes regular blood donation campaigns in coordination with government offices and private institutions, in an effort to promptly address the constant need for safe blood, and encourage more blood donors who help save many lives every year, whether through regular or emergency donations.
She further explained the importance of this year's theme highlights the significant role of voluntary blood donation systems in encouraging people to take care of each other and become socially responsible members of a community. The campaign also advocates listening to real-life stories of those who have received life-saving blood through donations as a way to continuously motivate regular donors to share units of life with others, and urge healthy individuals to voluntarily start donating, especially the young adults. On average, blood donations can save the lives of three people.
This year's blood donation was supported by partners like Emirates Transport, diamond sponsor of Roche Diagnostics Middle East SA and a number of diverse medical service providers who share the Ministry’s visions and goals to help patients in the UAE.