Japan Heart, an international paediatric cancer NGO, is holding a blood donation event in collaboration with AEON Mall Phnom Penh to help counter the acute blood shortages faced by patients in Cambodia and to raise awareness of the importance of donating blood to deal with the rising demand.
Japan Heart, which offers free medical care and surgery for children with cancer at Ponhea Leu Referral Hospital in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district, needs around 200 blood donors per month to meet the demands for blood transfusions for patients undergoing chemotherapy or having operations performed on them.
“Japan Heart needs a huge amount of blood to save children and it depends on the paediatric cancer patients’ condition,” said Hiroyuki Yamashita, administration manager at Japan Heart, “but we use blood packs for blood transfusions on a daily basis.”
Yamashita noted that chemotherapy requires 15-20 bags and operations require 15-20 bags so in total the hospital needs at least 200 blood donors per month with five donors equalling one blood bag.
Among the hospital’s 32 admitted paediatric patients, 10 need blood transfusions and some patients need blood transfusions for operations as well.
“If their cancer is located in easy-to-bleed parts such as the liver, we need to prepare many blood bags for surgery,” said Yamashita.
Patients often rely on family members with matching blood types and it is not uncommon to see the hospital staff donating blood on the job, according to Japan Heart’s blood donation organisers.
“I am really happy to be able to hold the event with the cooperation of Aeon Mall Phnom Penh and a group of young local and international creative people on our team for PR on social media,” Yamashita said.
AEON Mall is hosting the blood donation drive on June 29 at their location on Sothearos Boulevard in order to support Cambodian children and Japan Heart.
The hospital staff say they want to show Cambodian people who might be hesitant to donate blood that it is perfectly safe to do so and in fact it can confer health benefits as well as save the lives of sick children.
AEON is planning to hold this event every three months going forward and Yamashita expects that Japan Heart will get between 200 and 250 blood donors.
“We hope that many of you will be interested in donating blood at this event and will be able to do your part in solving the problem of blood shortages in Cambodia,” Yamashita said.
For more information on blood donations on Facebook: @japanheart.hospital or call them at 077 959 471.