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Blood donors during honouring ceremony in Abu Dhabi. A total of 25,600 donors have already donated 44,000 units of blood in Abu Dhabi this year.

Abu Dhabi: A total of 25,600 donors have already donated 44,000 units of blood in Abu Dhabi this year. A number of them were honoured at a glittering ceremony in the capital.

Health sector regulator for the emirate, the Department of Health (DoH), recognised the efforts of the donors in ensuring the health and safety of the community.

The ceremony was organised by DoH, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services (ADBBS), a DoH initiative that is managed by public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, and private health provider, Pure Health.

About 200 donors were present at the ceremony, and the DoH highlighted the importance of their lifesaving efforts. Regular blood donation helps provide the number of units necessary for a number of critical medical procedures, the DoH said.

‘Loyal donors’

“DoH appreciates the invaluable and priceless efforts of blood donor heroes across our country. In line with this year’s slogan ‘Donating blood is an act of solidarity’, I hope more and more blood donors will join blood donation efforts, so that we can continue to save lives,” said Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, the DoH undersecretary. “We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude for the humanitarian efforts of blood donors in saving the lives of thousands of patients. At the ADBBS, we continuously engage with our loyal donors and entities in order to support their noble humanitarian contributions,” said Dr Huda Al Shamsi, the ADBBS director.

‘Values of giving and kindness’

Salma Suhail Al Khaili was one of the Emirati honorees, and she has been a donor for more than 15 years. “Donating blood is a humanitarian act and I know that this small act contributes to helping those most in need. This is why I hope more and more volunteers will be encouraged to donate blood to help save lives. Blood donation, without a doubt, embodies the values of giving and kindness that we were raised on and learned from our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” Al Khaili said.

“Donating blood is a small part of giving back to my country and is the most precious part of me that I can offer my nation and its people. I call on all Emiratis and residents of the UAE to donate blood as it is one of the most selfless acts that you can engage in. Nothing compares to the feeling of happiness I feel every time I donate blood,” said Ahmad Abdullah Ismail, an Emirati who donates blood regularly.

Detect potential health problems

Recipient patients — including newborns, pregnant women, trauma patients and patients with blood disorders and other diseases — are not the only ones who benefit from donated blood, as there are great health benefits for blood donors too. Blood donation can help detect potential health problems, reduce levels of excess iron in the blood, stimulate the body to produce blood cells and also lower the risk of heart disease, liver problems, fight cancer, as well as control cholesterol levels.

Over the past five years, around 200,000 donors in Abu Dhabi emirate have contributed to improving and saving the lives of countless patients by donating nearly 400,000 blood units.