Dubai Health Authority Blood Donation
Blood donation Image Credit: iStock

Dubai: Blood donation campaigns are ongoing according to the highest safety standards, said the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) in a statement issued ahead of World Blood Donor Day, which takes place on Sunday.

MoHAP added that “all the preventive and precautionary measures have been adopted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of blood donation and its derivatives, raise the scientific competence and practical experience of medical and technical cadres, and enhance the quality of public safety programmes in the donation process.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the campaign theme for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Safe blood saves lives” with the slogan “Give blood and make the world a healthier place”. The aim is to entrench awareness among members of the community about the need for safe blood for patients, road traffic injuries, patients with thalassemia, anemia, among other diseases.

MoHAP pointed out that blood donation services are available at Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Centre, in addition to eight sub-centres in the Ministry’s hospitals and three mobile blood donation vehicles which organise over 500 external campaigns annually, pointing to the humanitarian side of blood donation and its role in saving lives.

Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand

Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres and Clinics, said: “The UAE joins the world in celebrating this occasion to pay tribute to blood donors in recognition of their great humanitarian work. At MoHAP, we strive to develop work mechanisms and identify the needs of blood transfusion centres and blood banks, especially in light of COVID-19 pandemic and in response to WHO’s new action plan 2020 – 2024 aimed at providing the safe blood for everyone at a faster rate by following new and innovating work mechanisms.”

Al-Rand added that the UAE has established itself as one of the world’s leading countries in blood transfusion safety and rate of the voluntary blood donation by 100 per cent, highlighting blood bank achievements, including the accreditation certificates by the American Blood Banks Association (AABB) and the International Health Accreditation Authority (JCI).

WHO has chosen Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Centre as its “regional centre in the Middle East” since 2008. This clearly reflects the development and quality of the services provided and the important role the Blood Transfusion Centre plays in the training and research field in blood transfusion medicine.

Safia Al Shamsi, Director of Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center, said: “MoHAP pays great attention to detecting contagious diseases which can be transmitted through the blood transfusion process. At the Sharjah Blood Transfusion Center and MoHAP’s blood banks, we conduct the latest international tests, including serological and DNA tests to automatically detect infectious and viral diseases. This comes as part of MoHAP’s endeavors to provide safe blood in quantities that cater to patient’s needs.”