Abu Dhabi: Emiratis represent 15.1 per cent of all blood donors, making them the largest group of donors in the UAE, according to the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank.

Carl Stanifer, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), said: "Emiratis are generous people. As a percentage of all donors, they are our largest group. By donating regularly, they have helped us maintain an adequate supply on hand."

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank (ADBB) has reported collecting 10,000 units of blood and 300 units of Apheresis Platelets, the blood of a donor or patient that is passed through an apparatus and separates one particular constituent, since the beginning of 2008.

Today, on World Blood Donor Day, an international event celebrated annually, an awareness booth will be set up by ADBB at the Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi from 4pm till 10pm where medical staff will perform free tests for haemoglobin, blood pressure, and blood type.

Educational brochures, leaflets and posters will also be distributed to different organisations in the Abu Dhabi emirate to encourage the public to regularly donate blood.

Blood transfusion is often needed for trauma victims of accidents, burns, heart surgery, organ transplants, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases such as thalassemia.

"Our volunteers provide nearly all the nation's blood supply for transfusion. ... Eligible blood donors can donate blood three to four times a year safely," said Dr Naima Oumeziane, head of ADBB.

Saif Al Qubaisi, Managing Director in Seha, said the UAE is the first country among the Arab World and the fifth country worldwide to host the World Blood Donor Day today.

Around 900 employees from the National Health Insurance Company have volunteered to donate blood to ADBB.


In sound physical condition

Some of the criteria for blood donors are that the person must be in good physical condition and overall good health. A basic physical check up is done for blood pressure, weight, temperature and hemoglobin.
- Must be at least 18 years.
- Must have minimum weight of 50kg.
- Must fill in a health history questionnaire.
- Blood drawn will be tested for six infectious diseases, in addition to A, B, O, and RH Blood Type:

1. HIV 1 and 2 Antibody (Aids)
2. Hepatitis B Core Antibody (antiHBc)
3. Hepatitis C Antibody (anti HCV)
4. HTLV I and II Antibody (anti HTLV I and II)
5. Serological Test for Syphilis
6. Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBs Ag)