World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is a global event aimed at raising awareness of the need for regular donors to meet the increasing demand for blood and to honour those committed to donating altruistically and regularly.
In 2010 alone, there were 62 countries with 100% voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors, up from 39 in 2009. Last year, the Singapore Red Cross Blood Donor Recruitment Programme achieved more than 110,000 blood donations, an increase of nearly 4000 more blood donations compared to the previous year. Latest blood donation trends show that there are more blood donors who are donating regularly as well as more who are donating at a younger age.
Addressing the attendants of the 2011 Champion Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony, which was held at the Singapore Science Centre on 11 Jun this year, Mr Tee Tua Ba, Chairman of the SRC, said, “I am very heartened that more people are committed to donating blood regularly and at an earlier age. I would like to salute our regular blood donors for their goodwill and outstanding commitment. Every effort counts and every unit donated makes a difference.”
Among the individual awardees, Mr Kua Cheng Hock, who had a dog beside him when he went on stage, attracted the attention of all present. The 56-year-old founder of the Guide Dogs Association of the Blind, who is visually impaired himself, has been donating blood since 1997. Speaking of his perseverance in supporting the cause, his reason of “I could not fulfil my National Service obligation so I’m giving back through donating blood” won warm applause from the attendants.
In the corporate/community groups’ category, Tzu Chi Singapore was accorded the Blood Mobile Organizers Gold Award as well as the champion organizer having collected 3333 units of blood last year, a 68% increase as compared to 1974 pints in 2009. Part of the increase could be attributed to the expansion of the SRC-collaborated weekday blood drives to several neighbourhoods which include Toa Payoh Community Club (CC), Nee Soon East CC, Tampines CC, and the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening Centre in Jurong East.
Tzu Chi Singapore has been holding quarterly blood drives with the SRC since June 2003 and began assisting the Society in organizing weekday blood drives in July 2009. The quarterly drive locations are Tzu Chi’s chapter house at Pasir Ris, Jurong Medical Centre and the recently rostered Senja-Cashew CC.
In all of the collaborations with SRC, besides taking charge in the setting up of the venues and putting up banners in the neighbourhoods, the Foundation also engages its volunteer force to promote awareness of blood donation on the streets.
Growing need for blood
Blood is a life-line for those having medical emergencies and major surgeries, organ transplants, as well as sufferers of cancers and blood disorders like leukaemia and lymphomas.
The global theme for this year’s WBDD, “More blood. More life.”, reinforces the urgent need for more people all over the world to become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly.
With an ageing population and more sophisticated medical procedures, the demand of blood in Singapore is increasing – more than 100,000 units of blood are needed annually just to meet the transfusion needs of patients here.
Just 30 minutes of your time (including the five to ten minutes of actual blood collection) can save three lives. Give the gift that keeps on living. Be a blood donor today.