More blood needed due to increase in thalassaemia patients: QEH
Published on: Friday, August 10, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The need for blood in Sabah is constantly rising due to the increasing number of thalassaemia patients who require blood supply every month, said Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2 (QEH 2) Director Dr Razak Tambi.He said each unit of blood in the blood bank can only be obtained through hard work, especially through organisers, individuals, the private sector and Blood Bank Unit to carry out blood donation campaigns.

"Blood cannot be simply bought or procured because it can only be obtained from blood donors who come forward voluntarily.

"Blood can save people's lives and donating blood is a noble deed and that is why I always give my support to any blood donation campaign.

"The supply of blood is not only for thalassaemia patients but can also be used to help victims of road accidents, women suffering while giving births and surgeries, among others," he said.

Razak said this when opening a Blood Donation Campaign organised in conjunction with a celebration of World Blood Donor Day 2018 at QEH 2 lobby here, recently.

A total of 204 blood pints were collected throughout the two-day campaign.

Among the organisers are Sabah Blood Donors Association (Pendarah), Persatuan Kebajikan Bambarayon Kampung Kopungit (Bambarayon), Upko Kota Kinabalu, Persatuan Kebajikan & Kebudayaan Nulu Kopungit (Pekebun), Persatuan Penanam & Pengusaha Lada Hitam Sabah (PLAS), Persatuan Warisan Masyarakat Bisaya Sabah (PWMBS), Persatuan Thalassaemia Sabah (Thalassemia), Pertubuhan Komuniti Penderma Darah Malaysia (Komuniti Perdarah), QEH 2 Visitors, Syarikat Life Water and Borenos.

The campaign's theme for this year is "Hadirlah Untuk Mereka. Derma Darah, Kongsi Kehidupan" (Be There For Them. Donate Blood, Share Lives) that emphasises on humanitarian elements and QEH 2 appreciates the cooperation from the non-governmental organisations, and individuals to make the campaign a success.

"QEH 2 is also taking this opportunity to make this event as an official programme to show our appreciation to the organiser that work hard to help the hospital to get the blood supply.

"Without sufficient supply of blood, thousands of people in Sabah may be affected due to shortage of blood supply as treatment for them could not be carried out at optimal level," he said.

Transfusion Medical Department Head Dr Shahnaz Irwani, who is also the organising chairman, said the event is celebrated every June 14 every year and was introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2004 which aimed to raise public awareness on the importance of ensuring continuous supply of safe blood for patients.

"The celebration is being organised to show appreciation to the volunteer blood donors who have sacrificed their time and energy for the people in need of the blood.

"Every year Malaysia collected around 700,000 units of blood to be supplied to patients where these constitute only 2.5 per cent of the population in the country while WHO recommended that five per cent of the society to be blood donors so as to ensure enough supply of blood for a country.

"Recipients of the blood also need to be celebrated although they do not know who the donors are because each donor is a 'Gift of Life'," she said.

Meanwhile Pendarah President Alix Sunggin said the 204 pints were collected from 104 pints from the first day and 97 pints from the second day.

He thanked the blood donors, NGOs, companies and individuals involved in making the campaign a success.

"The best thing was that during the campaign, we successfully obtained a blood type O R1R1 which we immediately donated to Neowell Vann Houtton, who has major thalassaemia, and has not received blood supplies since June 16 as it was published in local newspapers on July 30," Alix said.


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