The Health Ministry’s National Blood Transfusion Centre Cambodia expressed extreme concern on Thursday about a drastic decline in blood donations in the first half of the year.
The centre received only 6,000 units of blood – about 11 per cent of last year’s 70,000 units during the same period.
Cambodia lacks 20 to 30 per cent of the blood it needs to save victims, said National Blood Transfusion Centre director Sok Po.
Po said the dwindling supply is dangerous when the demand for blood has increased by 10,000 units year-on-year.
“We are very concerned over this lack of blood. The reason why so few people volunteer to donate blood is that our citizens don’t understand the significance of such a donation.
“We have not yet spread the word widely. In order words, people are still doubtful and believe donating blood harms their health.
“Let me stress that donating blood doesn’t cause health problems and even improves health. We will continue to educate them about the benefits of blood donation,” he said.
Ministry of Health technical director-general Hok Kim Cheng said on Thursday that donations remain limited. He wants to encourage active participation to save lives, he said.
“Donating blood is a generous act and of vital importance for victims at various hospitals which need blood. Research suggests it can be beneficial to the health of donors. Donating blood reduces the recurrence of cancer and other health risks,” he said.
Phnom Penh resident Pich Chenda, who donates blood every three months, said on Thursday it is safe, painless, easy and helps communities.
“Knowing that my organisation initiates a voluntary blood donation programme, I signed up immediately because I feel I am assisting people. I am proud to be a donor because donating blood is like giving life,” he said.