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Blood donation drive ramps up

1 student giving blood
A student from Siem Reap's Build Bright University giving blood. Photograph: Mr. Pronith

Multimedia youth channel Loy9, part of BBC Media Action, will be in Siem Reap on Monday filming people giving blood as part of its national blood donation campaign, aiming to get 999 donors in nine days in nine different locations.

The campaign’s motto is ‘Give Blood, Give Love’, and is organised by Loy9 in conjunction with United Nations Volunteers and the National Blood Transfusion Centre in Phnom Penh. The “big challenge” kicks off on June 9 in Battambang, and hits Siem Reap on June 10, before visiting seven other sites.

Blood donations in Siem Reap will be at two locations:  Siem Reap Provincial Hospital from 8am-12pm, and Angkor Hospital for Children from 8am-5pm.

According to Angkor Hospital for Children external relations officer Ho Oma, the aim is to encourage young Khmer people to give blood because there is still a lot of associated stigma. In 2012, for example, out of the 1,449 people donating blood at the hospital, only 451 were Khmer.

“We want to motivate young people – especially Khmers – to donate blood, because most of them are scared to do it,” Ho said. “They worry that it might affect their health, or that they’ll get sick and faint after a blood donation. We need to explain it to them and encourage them. Loy9 came to talk to us, and we decided to do it together.”

Ho said the hospital regularly goes to the town’s universities and hotels to set up blood drives, and spread safety messages.

Ho added that the aim on Monday is to get 50 blood donors at the Angkor Hospital for Children. But she is confident more will turn up, and said, “At the Provincial Hospital they expect 80 people and for us, around 50.  But I think maybe we’ll get more because we have a volunteer team at the moment going out to universities putting up posters promoting the event, and we’ve contacted the local cable TV station.”

For more information about the blood drive or to register to donate on June 10, please email: submit@loy9.com.kh.

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