Posted on Mac 29, 2008, Saturday
MIRI: The testimonies of blood donors can provide the right encouragement for more people to come forward to donate.
Blood is the most precious gift that humans can give each other, an act which can help save lives and give a new lease of life to those in need.
“This time we would like the testimonies of our blood donors to encourage and convince others, rather than just giving the usual official statements,” said MRC Miri Chapter Blood Donors’ Recruitment Sub-committee chairman Dr Roland Dom Mattu during a press conference on World Blood Donor Day 2011 at MRC Miri premises yesterday.
The minimum age requirement to donate blood is 17 with parental permission, and 18 without requiring permission, while the oldest allowed is 60.
This year, the youngest female blood donor is 17-year-old Nurhazleen Anwar, who followed in her mother and brother’s footsteps.
“After seeing them getting all the awards, privileges and advantages as blood donors, it also drives my enthusiasm to try something new. It is a good deed that not many youngsters would want to do,” said Nurhazleen who finished school at SMK St Columba and is now waiting for reply to her applications to higher educational institutions.
Nurhazleen also wanted to prove to her friends that donating blood is not a waste of time and the process is not painful at all.
“I felt amazing and totally refreshed. During my first donation, I smiled through and felt so proud that I am officially a blood donor,” said Nurhazleen who is the youngest of three siblings, who ambitioned to become a chef.
As an encouragement to the youngsters, she urged her peers to try, assuring them that our blood is constantly renewing and can save lives.
“There is no pain at all, and your action will make you proud of yourself like it did for me.
“Furthermore, you will become more health conscious, knowing that your precious fluid could save many lives,” she added.
Incidentally, Nurhazleen is the youngest daughter of a regular blood donor Hajijah Keram whose first donated in 1981 in Kuching due to urgent requirement for fresh blood for her late husband who suffered from PNH (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuvia) ailment.
“Being a new donor then, I was so proud that I managed to save him.
“After that, I was tempted to donate regularly as my health permitted, up to now,” said Hajijah who is a representative of her employer Telekom in MRC Miri.
Hajijah has donated for 67 times now, and her advice to all is to come forward to donate, bearing in mind that every single drop of our blood can save another’s life regardless of race or religion.
Another blood donor is 62-year-old Charles Kho from Niah who first donated on Jan 9, 1983 at Miri Blood Bank and last donated on May 29, 2009 for a total of 97 pints in 26 years.
“In those days, blood supply was scarce, some even had to pay for it and many of my colleagues and I had to volunteer ourselves to meet demand,” said Kho who has worked in Miri Hospital since 1975 as medical laboratory technician.
Kho has won many awards including for the highest pints of blood donated by men in 1999, highest overall blood donor for 2001, PPS for 20 years in service and BBS by TYT in 2005.
KUCHING: Vixonsday Francis Ketir won a prestigious award from the Malaysian Red Crescent for being the top blood donor of the year.
He has been donating blood on a regular basis for the past 30 years. Last year, the 50-year-old officer with the Fire and Rescue Department in Bau donated a total of 110 pints of blood.
KUCHING: Redzuan Su’ut feels blue as he watches some 300 people donating blood at his workplace in Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).
A regular blood donor since 1984, the 54-year-old man has been advised to stop donating blood since three years ago after being diagnosed with heart problems.
“I feel sad that I’m just a bystander now during blood donation drives and I can’t help save lives anymore,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Redzuan, who works as an administrative assistant officer at SEDC’s human resource division, said he first donated blood in 1984 through the company’s Sports Club.
“I felt very nervous but after donating a few times, I felt comfortable and looked forward to the next donation drive.
“On average, I used to donate blood three times a year. My blood type is B.
“I’m very happy that my wife and children are following my footsteps in donating blood. I hope more people will come forward to help save lives. A drop of blood can save lives,” he said.
Redzuan was one of the five SEDC employees who received awards for having donated the most accumulated blood with 36 pints.
The other recipients were Abdul Rahman Zainuddin with 38 pints, Rosli Rebi (34) , Zulkifli Sahari (31) and Patricia Punai (29).
Earlier, SEDC chairman Datuk Talib Zulpilip launched the company’s blood donation campaign jointly held with the 3rd Brigade Infantry and Malaysia Ex-Service Association Sarawak Branch.
In his speech, he called for more people to donate blood, saying that the Sarawak General Hospital’s blood bank often issued appeals for donors due to shortage during festive seasons, particularly the fasting month.
“When you donate your blood, you’re donating part of yourself to help others and this is a good deed,” he said.
About 300 people, mainly army men and about 30 SEDC employees, donated their blood.
By ZORA CHAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Statistics provided by the National Blood Centre have indicated that only three per cent of the Malaysian population donated blood in the past two years.
The figure is a far cry from the targeted 10 per cent, said its medical officer, Dr Ombala Shanmuga.
However, he said, it showed a slight increase as compared to the blood donation records in 2007 and 2008.
Nevertheless, he noted, there were still many campaigns to be carried out to increase public awareness to achieve the desired target.
“Countries like the United States have 30 per cent of its people who are blood donors while in Malaysia, we have yet to achieve the 10 per cent target,” he told Bernama when met at a blood donation campaign jointly organised by the centre and Bernama Centre of Exellence at Wisma Bernama here yesterday.
According to Dr Ombala, the centre would organise campaigns at five locations on weekdays and up to eight locations on weekends to increase awareness among people on the importance of donating blood.
“We only took about 450ml blood from each donor. Blood from one person could save three lives which required blood transfusions,” he said.
Among those who donated blood today was Bernama Economic News Service Deputy Editor-in-Chief Datuk Zakaria Abdul Wahab.
Since his first donation in 2001, Zakaria has been frequently donating blood.
“I would do it at least once a year to help those in need of blood. I also donate for health reasons as donating blood allows the production of new red blood cells more quickly,” he said.
Special Assistant to Bernama International News Service Editor, Rodziah Idris, who donated blood for the first time yesterday, said she decided to do so because she was impressed with the commitment of regular blood donors.
“I have a friend who was once a regular blood donor. However, she ceased being a donor due to health reasons.”
“That made me sad and I decided to donate blood,” she said.
The blood donation campaign from 10am to 3pm at Wisma Bernama involved eight staff from the blood centre, including a doctor. — Bernama