Making news

Young people in HCM City call on peers to donate blood

 Hundreds of young people in Ho Chi Minh City are calling on their friends via social media and others to visit the Blood Transfusion Haematology Hospital and Humanitarian Blood Donation Centre to donate blood to address a shortage amid the ongoing public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.

Nguyen Thi Hoang Lan of Binh Thanh district visited the hospital on February 6 to give blood.

“This was the first I have donated blood. I donated 250ml. Through the media, I knew the hospital’s blood bank has only 3,900 units left, enough for one week,” she told Viet Nam News.

She saw many other young people coming to the hospital to donate blood, and they told her that their friends shared the information about the shortage of blood and urged them to donate.

Lan also exhorted her friends to do so.

Her friend, Duong Thi Thuong of Thu Duc district, said: “I donated 250ml of blood. This was the first time. But I will donate regularly in future.”

According to preliminary statistics from the hospital, more than 300 people came on Thursday to give blood. It expects more and more donors to come.

Dr Phu Chi Dung, the hospital’s director, said on February 4 there were only 3,900 units of blood in stock, just enough for a week. It provides nearly 1,000 units to health facilities around the city each day.

Coronavirus has made people reluctant to visit hospitals to donate, and so only 200-300 packets were received per day now compared to 800-1,000 before the coronavirus outbreak, he said.

The volume of each package is between 250 and 450 millilitres.

Many organisations, companies and others cancelled blood donation programmes they had planned, he said.

Students were big donors normally but now universities and colleges were closed and they had left for their hometowns, he said.

People who come to the hospital to give blood are screened for diseases and given masks and hand sanitisers to ensure their safety.

According to the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi, hospitals needed 1,500 units of blood per day while the institute only received 226 units in the 10 days between January 23 and February 1.

It forecasts the shortage to last a few weeks, severely affecting blood supply to 170 hospitals in 25 provinces and cities.

A similar situation is plaguing Can Tho, Hue, Da Nang, and other places./