The Ministry of Health’s National Blood Transfusion Centre (NBTC) plans to hold a blood donation drive under the theme Donating Blood, Giving Love on February 14 to mark Valentine’s Day.
The drive is aimed at attracting youths to donate blood at the centre at the Khmer–Soviet Friendship Hospital.
NBTC deputy director Meuk Samean said on Thursday that it had picked the day for the drive in the hope that it will spur higher donations.
She said awareness of the benefits of donating blood remains limited, noting only 22 per cent of the population had volunteered to donate blood.
She said 40 to 60 people may donate blood per day, but 200 to 250 units are needed to rescue people per day. Volunteers account for 27 per cent of the centre’s supply. Last year, the centre supplied 69,796 units.
“Donating blood is more than giving love on February 14. But we merely pay lip service to giving love in some degrees.
“We don’t commit ourselves to it in a practical manner. But if we donate blood, we commit ourselves to giving true love. So, I would like to call for further participation,” she said.
She noted some people believe donating blood will affect their health, which is not true.
Before taking blood, she said doctors always check the health of volunteer donors. If doctors find they should not donate, they will not take blood and will even consult with them about their conditions.
If doctors find they can donate blood, they will receive it from them and also advise them to take care of their health, she added.
Ra Narith, who has donated blood twice, said doing so did not harm his health. On the contrary, it provided a lot of benefits, he said.
He said donating blood was very important to rescue victims who needed blood urgently or those who have no relatives. Donating blood, he said, is an expression of love in times of emergencies.
“I would like to encourage and call on all Cambodian people to kindly donate blood to share the love for humankind. Your blood really has love and elements, such as oxygen to help the lives of the sick who are waiting for you to rescue them,” Narith said.
Chan Rasmey said he once donated blood as a small contribution to helping national society.
“At first, I was worried when donating the blood. I was worried about my health, but I saw my friends donate blood and after I did so, I did not have any health problems – we also took the doctor’s advice on health care,” he said.