Dubai: Three new blood donation sites in Al Mankhool, Nad Al Hamar, and Deira will be opened in Dubai by the end of October, Gulf News has learnt.
The expansion is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who donated blood at Latifa Hospital after he heard about the temporary shortfall of blood units for thalassemia patients in Dubai earlier this year.
Currently, the Dubai Blood Donation Centre at Latifa Hospital is the only donation point for donors.
Speaking to Gulf News exclusively, Dr Laila Al Shaer, director of the Centre, said that the new sites will operate from existing primary health care centres and/or hospitals under the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
“These are located within Nad Al Hamar Health Centre, Al Mankhool Health Centre and Dubai Hospital. With the opening of these three collection sites, which will only collect, and not process or test blood, we can look at an increase of two to five per cent in the current level of blood unit collection.”
She explained that the locations will encourage residents from in and around these areas to donate blood. “Not all donors find it convenient to visit Latifa Hospital. The new sites reflect the feedback we have received, requesting for easy-to-access donation points. Our aim is to facilitate more blood unit collection. While selecting the sites we considered strategic locations in residential areas.”
The Dubai Blood Donation Centre hopes that the new sites will cater to 10 donors per day, five-days a week, collecting more than 30 units a day. The sites will have one to two beds and will be open for seven hours, starting at 9am.
Dr Laila added, “We have eight new nurses and 10 technicians to service the new sites. We are open to the idea of new timings depending on the demand from donors.”
According to the DHA, 50 per cent of the blood collected in the UAE is from the Dubai Blood Donation Centre. Of this blood, 45 per cent is used for thalassaemia patients, who suffer from blood disorders, and 27 per cent is used for trauma patients.
Gulf News spoke to a couple of regular blood donors who said that the new sites will encourage more residents to be blood donors. Abdul Rahman Ebrahim, an Emirati government employee from Sharjah, said that the availability of more donation points will increase number of new donors.
Another Emirati, Mousa Esmail Al Ansari, a tour guide in Sharjah, said that he now has more sites he can choose from.