Sunday, 9 December 2012

‘Testimonies can attract more blood donors’

By Chin Kee Leong. Posted on June 9, 2011, Thursday
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.

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