Donate blood to save lives, urges UAE health authorities

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, is emphasising the role of blood donation in saving the lives of patients – even after receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccinated people may donate blood within 14 days of the first or second dose. Each donor contributes to saving the lives of at least three people.

Dr. Marwan Al Kaabi, Acting Group Chief Operations Officer, Seha, said, “It is vital for all members of our community to regularly donate blood. Blood is our lifeline, and our blood banks need a consistent supply of blood to protect the interests of the entire community, especially our brothers and sisters who require life-saving transfusions.

There are currently no substitutes for blood therapy, and it is crucial that all members of the society consider the possibility and day where they, a friend, or family member would require a blood transfusion too.”

Some patients such as those diagnosed with thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia require blood therapy every three weeks. Blood transfusions are also essential in saving the lives of those involved in accidents or incidents which cause major blood loss.

“We have ensured that the blood donation process is safe and efficient, in line with global best practice for donors. During COVID-19, we introduced additional, robust, safety and precautionary measures at the blood banks.

The process is not only completely safe for donors, but there is also no risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus during donation. We urge all members of the community to donate blood, including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone must commit to donate as this is a public health matter,” Dr. Al Kaabi continued.

Saif Saleh Salem Al Harthy has donated blood 50 times so far, including several times in the past year. He strongly believes that donating blood is a humanitarian act that seeks God's pleasure and undoubtedly help others.

Ali Hassan Muhammad Abdul Latif Al-Jamadi has been donating at the Zayed Military Hospital, a Seha facility, since 1990. He has continued to donate as many as three times a year and has so far donated 45 times. He believes donating blood is a duty towards the UAE and its community, it is a humanitarian act that seeks God's pleasure.

Muhammad Munther Tawfiq Nasr is a Palestinian resident of the UAE, who has so far donated blood 55 times. Nasr’s blood type is O+, a blood type that is in very high demand, and he explained his decision to donate every quarter, saying, “Donating blood is a humanitarian cause and my personal way of expressing my gratitude to the country where I was born and have lived for my whole life. My father donated blood very regularly, and he strongly influenced my choice to continue with this tradition.

Besides the charitable element, blood donation keeps me healthy, helps rejuvenate my body, and is not harmful to our health, contrary to some misconceptions.”

Imad Marwan Abu Angela, a Jordanian national who has been a resident of the UAE for 14 years, has also committed to donating blood every two to three months, and has so far donated 35 times.

Commenting on his choice, “Donating blood is very rewarding and fills me with happiness as I know I am contributing to saving the lives of other people. A drop of blood can save a life, and helps stimulate a blood donor’s circulation, in addition to promoting the body’s cell renewal process.”

Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services aims to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of blood inventory at the blood banks, to support the needs of 50 public and private hospitals in the Emirate. Both the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain banks welcome donors from Saturdays to Thursdays, with the Abu Dhabi branch being open from 7am to 10pm, whilst the Al Ain branch is open from 8am to 8pm.

To book a blood donation appointment, call 02 819 1700 for the Abu Dhabi Blood bank, or 03 707 4191 for the Al Ain Blood Bank.

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