Erbil launches mobile donation campaign marking World Blood Donor Day
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Health authorities in the Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil on Monday launched a campaign to encourage safe and voluntary blood donations and boost awareness about the importance of giving blood.
The World Health Organization marks every June 14 as World Blood Donor Day, during which activities are held to promote the donation of the crucial fluid.
To mark the day this year, the Kurdish capital’s health authorities launched an extensive blood donation campaign across the city with a mobile blood donation site, in which the Kurdistan Region Health Minister Saman Barzinji attended along with Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw.
Barzinji, marking the day, donated a bag of blood to the campaign.
Afterwards, the minister spoke to reporters about the importance of such a campaign to help critical patients and save lives.
“Nearly 170,000 bags of blood are donated each year,” Barzinji said, adding that 40 percent of the supply is from volunteers who contribute for free.
Voluntary and non-renominated blood donors who provide safe blood are a crucial part of the supply of the precious commodity for hospitals. Blood shortages, particularly during emergencies, could cost lives.
There are numerous non-governmental organizations in the Kurdistan Region that promote blood donation, and collect blood for health centers during critical times.
In addition to dire emergencies that require the immediate readiness of blood supplies, blood is always needed for patients with critical medical conditions such as Leukemia and Thalassemia – a genetic disorder where the body makes less hemoglobin than normal – as well as for many women and newborns during childbirth.
“Annually, 26,000 blood bags are provided to thalassemia patients while another 15,000 more bottles are given to Leukemia patients,” Barzinji said.