Blood brothers: Dubai steps up blood donations during Ramadan
A not-for-profit group has taken up the cause of trying to augment the shortfall in blood donations in Dubai this Ramadan.
Welfare of Mankind, a licensed social club in Dubai, has held three blood donation camps this month to help collect blood for the Dubai Blood Donation Centre (DBDC) under the Dubai Health Authority. The donation drive this year is being held in partnership with the Community Development Authority for its month-long Yestahloon (colloquial for âwell-deserved’) campaign for Ramadan.
Welfare of Mankind has so far collected 306 units of blood and aims to collect more in its fourth camp to be held on August 1.
“Generally, during Ramadan, the number of donors is less than usual but the requirement for blood is still the same. So we thought that as non-Muslims, it’s best to donate during this period to at least cover the shortfall,” Amanjeet Singh, general secretary of Welfare of Mankind, told Gulf News.
According to DBDC, the demand for blood in the emirate never goes down with a patient needing blood every three seconds. But during Ramadan, the high demand is highlighted by a seasonal blood shortage.
Since eating is important within four hours before giving blood to maintain a proper blood sugar level, donors who are fasting are not eligible to donate blood. A donor must also drink plenty of water in preparation for the blood collection.
Based on DBDC figures, almost half of the blood the centre collects provides a lifeline for thalassaemia patients. The rest of the blood is used in hospitals for patients who have suffered massive blood loss due to a road accident or surgery. The centre’s blood collection accounts for 50 per cent of the total blood collected throughout the country.
“DHA has asked us to concentrate most of our blood donation drives during Ramadan as the number of camps go down during this time,” Prabhdeep Singh, organiser of the blood donation camp and a regular blood donor, told Gulf News.
The group collects a total of 800 to 900 units of blood every year, about half of which is collected during Ramadan. Seventy per cent of the people who donate are regular donors.
“It makes us happy to know that one bottle of blood that we give can help save three to five lives,” Amanjeet Singh said.
“For us it’s not a matter of religion. We live in the UAE and we think it’s just but right that we give back to society,” he added.