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Health sector faces shortage of 13,000 units of blood for Tet

With Tet (Lunar New Year) approaching together with the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donations to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) have decreased.

As many as 30 organisations have requested to cancel planned blood donations involving more than 8,000 units of blood.

From January 29 to February 1, the institute received just over 1,300 units of blood, while the normal need for blood supply is 1,200 - 1,500 units.

The whole week before Tet holiday, from February 1 to 7, the institute expects to receive only 3,000 blood units.

As of 9am on February 2, the institute's blood reserve was only 7,500 units. Red blood cells and platelets are the most severely deficient, seriously affecting the provision of 177 medical facilities in 28 provinces and cities that cover approximately 41 million people.

Previously, on December 7 last year, the Vietnam Health Union issued official letter No 379 to the grassroots trade union on voluntary blood donation. Responding to this action, health authorities in many provinces, cities and hospitals in Hanoi planned to organise blood donation drives. However, new COVID-19 outbreaks have forced these organisations to prioritise pandemic prevention.

Bach Quoc Khanh, director of the NIHBT, said: “The pressure to receive and supply blood before, during and after Tet is always a constant concern for blood transfusion facilities. With the current plan of receiving blood, the institute still lacks about 13,000 blood units to provide emergency and treatment before, during and after Tet."

The NIHBT is seeking people with good health to donate blood, especially those with blood type O and A, from now to the end of this month.

At blood donation points, the NIHBT strictly implements anti-pandemic measures according to the Ministry of Health’s guidance to ensure safety for donors, recipients and medical staff.

Blood can be donated at the NIHBT on Pham Van Bach Street in Hanoi's Cau Giay District from 8am to 8pm all days including Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Other fixed blood donation points in Hanoi are at No 26 Luong Ngoc Quyen in Hoan Kiem District, No 132 Quan Nhan in Thanh Xuan District and No 10, Lane 122 Lang Street in Dong Da District, from 8am to 12am and 1pm to 5pm from Monday to Saturday./