A resident donates blood at Latifa hospital to mark the World Blood Donation Day. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Blood Donation Centre (DBDC) collected 240 units of blood in a donation initiative to mark World Blood Donors Day on Tuesday.

The initiative was organised at the centre located at the Latifa Hospital campus from 8am to 1am to facilitate those fasting to donate after iftar. About 160 donors donated blood, an official said.

Talking about the centre’s blood donation camps all the year round, Dr May Yassin Raouf, director of the centre, told Gulf News: “From January to mid-June 2016 we have conducted approximately 240 private and public campaigns. We collect 220 units of blood each day and today we have specially gone from donor to donor thanking them and giving them a gift as a gesture of appreciation. Blood donation is a humanitarian activity and we want the community to participate.”

She said: “Since 2011, 100 per cent of the blood collected by the centre was donated without any monetary compensation to volunteers.” She added that by achieving the 100 per cent volunteer donations the centre was fulfilling the World Health Organisation’s 2009 directives for all countries to achieve this milestone by 2020.

Stressing the rising need for blood units in the country, Dr Raouf pointed out: “The need for blood is increasing due to development of health services in Dubai, so is the need for donations. Each donation may potentially help save up to four lives. Blood donation is essential to treat many medical conditions like thalassaemia, leukaemia, traffic accidents, surgeries, and many other related diseases.”

Trauma patients remain the second largest recipient of blood from the centre. Dr Raouf also said that of the total blood collected each year, nearly 38 per cent goes to the Thalssaemia Centre, 15 per cent to private hospitals, 8 per cent to Latifa Hospital for delivery- related complications and the rest to the trauma care centre at the Rashid Hospital.

Dr Raouf said the centre was in the process of completely overhauling the system of receiving blood donations from donors. “We are working on a new information technology system that will enable us to create a data base of blood donors, register them for emergencies or regular donations or both. We will also be able to get them to mention if they are ready for immediate blood donation and someone will contact them. The data will be collated based on a laboratory Information Systems and we will have an app that can be downloaded by potential donors. However, this page will be directly linked to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) website www.dha.gov.ae. Work on this continues and this system will go live in the month of September or October.”