Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has initiated a blood donation drive, open to all residents. Every year in April, the blood donation drive begins for the summer months. This year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic community blood donation has come into sharp focus.
The DHA has on its Instagram page specified that residents desiring to donate blood need to log on to the www.dha.gov.ae and access the DAMMI service. Residents are required to fill up a detailed questionnaire for eligibility to donate and once they clear that they can donate blood.
Owing to the current lockdown, the Dubai Blood Donation Centre will contact eligible residents to donate blood.
In the meantime, many charity organisations have organised mobile blood donation buses that go up to a residential area to facilitate blood donation from eligible, registered donors.
On April 5, the Pehal Charity Trus (PCT), founded by Dubai resident Joginder Salaria, conducted one such drive at the Dubai Investment Park in a labour camp in conjunction with the DHA and the Jebel Ali Police Station.
The blood donation drive was conducted under the supervision of Dr Adil Al Suwaidi, Director of Jebel Ali Police station from 8 am to 4 pm. Salaria told Gulf News : “Several eligible candidates from the labour camp in DIP donated their blood as well as several policemen from Jebel Ali police station donated too. We had parked a mobile bus within the camp so that residents did not have to venture outside their environment. Instead of taking six people at a time, we allowed only two people at a time maintaining social distance. We followed completed hygiene and sanitation precautions. We were surprised by the turnout and are happy that the drive was successful,” said Salaria.
Eligibility criteria for blood donation
- The donor must be in the age group of 18-65 years
- The individual should weigh at least 50kg
- The donor should either be an Emirati or valid residence visa-holder (people on visit visas cannot donate)
- The donor must be in good general health and well rested
- The donor must not suffer from any infectious diseases such as Hepatitis strains, HIV etc
- Diabetics on insulin cannot donate while those on pills can
- Those suffering from hypertension can donate if their blood pressure on donation date is anything between 110/60 on the lower side and maximum 180/90
- Those with low haemoglobin levels cannot donate. Female donors must have a HB level of minimum 12.5 while males must have minimum 13.5
Every drop of blood counts
A single unit of blood donated (480ml to 500ml), roughly a pint, can save three to four lives. Donating blood transcends barriers of race, culture and status. There is a need for blood every two seconds of the day in hospitals.