A collective force of prominent Cambodian companies joined hands on June 21 at the Garden in the Air (GIA) Tower to address the critical need for blood donors in the country. 

The large-scale blood donation campaign was a collaborative effort between the National Blood Transfusion Center of Cambodia (NBTC), DKSH Cambodia, KPMG Cambodia, AIA Cambodia, foodpanda, Unbox Marketing Agency, AEON Specialized Bank (Cambodia) Plc, SP Building Management, Nestle, SokSiphana & Association, HBS Law, WEduShare, Sabay, SR Digital Media and the Phnom Penh Post.

DKSH Cambodia, along with other participating organisations, was proud to support the blood donation drive. 

Arden Feschuk, vice-president of Business Unit Consumer Goods and Country Management at DKSH, shared his company's commitment.

“This is the seventh time that DKSH Cambodia has organised a blood donation campaign,” said Feschuk on June 21. “Today, we are proud to stand united with the GIA community to make a significant impact. Each donor's act is a profound one, demonstrating care and concern for the well-being of our community. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participates, as your selflessness is truly lifesaving.”

Phann Reasey, general manager of SP Building Management, highlighted the collaborative effort and its purpose.

A donor squeezes a ball to improve blood flow on June 21. Cambodia faces an annual demand of 140,000 blood bags.Yousos Apdoulrashim

“Today marks a momentous occasion,” Reasy said at the event. “We stand united as prominent Cambodian companies with a common purpose – to address the critical need for blood in our hospitals and ultimately, save lives.”

Representatives from participating companies echoed the importance of blood donation.

“Blood donation is a selfless and compassionate act that helps save lives and strengthens the community,” said Chakriya Oung, founder of Unbox Marketing.

Phann Sopheara, head of HR and Administration at Aeon Specialized Bank, emphasised the impact. 

“Donating blood is a simple way to make a big difference. One donation can help save multiple lives,” he said.

Phal Winner, event coordinator from foodpanda, expressed excitement about the achievement of the initiative. 

Doctors consult with potential donors and check their blood pressure on June 21.Yousos Apdoulrashim

“I am very proud when seeing more people value corporate social responsibility [CSR]. I would like to thank all of the participants, and a big shout-out to foodpanda’s employees, especially riders who were participating in the event in between their very busy delivery schedules.”

Sokheng Douch, a DKSH employee with universal donor blood type O, spoke about his personal reasons for donating.

“This is my fourth time donating blood,” said Sokheng. “At first, I was a bit scared, but I truly wanted to contribute to society and help people.”

Sokheng’s sentiment resonated with Jesusa Agbules, who recently arrived in Cambodia from the Philippines and donated blood despite having been in the country for a less than a week. 

Sokheng Douch, a DKSH employee with universal blood type O, donates for the fourth time. Phnom Penh alone requires 300 to 500 bags of blood daily.Yousos Apdoulrashim

“I know about this event from my company, DKSH. This is my eleventh time donating blood. I have a rare blood type, so why not donate? It's a way of giving back and a generous feeling, knowing you're saving someone's life.”

Meuk Samean, deputy director of the NBTC, clarified misconceptions about blood donation. 

"Studies suggest that reducing blood volume can help regulate iron levels and potentially improve circulation," she said, highlighting potential health benefits for donors. 

“Studies suggest potential health benefits, although more research is needed. It's important to note that eligibility varies depending on health and iron stores,” she added.

Borey Sathavy, a first-time donor and an associate at HBS Law, expressed her excitement of being able to donate when she was told she met the medical requirements.

Jesusa Agbules, who recently arrived in Cambodia from the Philippines, gives the ‘peace sign’ while donating blood despite having been in the country less than a week.Yousos Apdoulrashim

“It was a great feeling to finally donate blood for the first time!” exclaimed Sathavy. “Donating blood is a fantastic way to give back to society, and there are even potential health benefits for the donor. The opportunity to save lives is a powerful motivator. If you're healthy and have the chance, please consider donating blood. Even a small amount can make a huge difference.”

“With the critical need for blood in Cambodia, this collaborative blood donation drive aims to make a significant impact. If you are healthy and meet the eligibility criteria, consider joining the lifesaving movement and donate blood,” she said.

Cheang Sopheara, assistant manager of People Performance and Culture at KPMG, was excited to donate blood for the second time. 

She had initially hesitated, doubting the effects of blood donation on heath, but realised that it helps those in need at hospitals and even holds benefits such as improving health and skin. 

The experience of having a critically ill relative in need of a blood transfusion further solidified Sopheara’s belief in the importance of donating.

“I made a commitment to donate regularly and encourage others to do the same,” she said.

Donors rest and enjoy snacks under doctor supervision to ensure blood sugar levels after donating.Yousos Apdoulrashim

According to Meuk Samean, deputy director of the NBTC, hospitals require roughly one unit of blood every five minutes to save patients. This translates to a daily need of 300 to 350 blood bags in Phnom Penh alone. 

Samean stressed that the country faces an annual demand of 140,000 blood bags nationwide, with the NBTC currently meeting 75 per cent of that requirement. Unfortunately, voluntary blood donation fulfills only 19.5 per cent of the country's overall need.

“[This] blood donation event aims to cultivate and promote a culture of voluntary blood donation. The initiative seeks to connect this act with the highest ideals of humanity, highlighting the selfless contribution individuals can make,” Samean said.