Last Friday I read about the Korle Bu Blood bank’s sorry state: They have only 80 units of blood left and are contemplating closing down (They need a minimum of 200 to run properly). The Christmas Season in Ghana usually sees an increase in accidents and as such this period is the worst possible time for the National Blood Centre to be low in stock. Having them close down means families with emergencies are going to have to look within themselves for eligible donors, or pay people to donate.
The sad news about the people lining up to sell their blood at the blood centre is, they are usually the ones with blood communicable diseases (ala HIV, Hepatitis etc). They are not a SAFE bet.
I decided that this year, I would donate some of my blood. For years, I was too low on Haemoglobin/Iron and too skinny (I once weighed in at 43kg with my 5’8 frame) but now I am of a healthy weight and for the past year, my HB levels have been excellent. I asked on twitter if anyone was ready to go with me to give blood this Christmas and after talking to Blogging Ghana, StACC-Ghana and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, I am proud to Announce the Save A Life Christmas Blood Drive!
Join us on 22 and 24 Dec at the Korle Bu Blood Centre and 27-28 Dec at the Noguchi Memorial Institute and give some Life Saving Blood. Time is from 9am to 2pm for each day. The break in-between is to allow the staff of the National Blood Service to take their holiday break. These brave men and women deserve the two days to catchup with family.
Donor cards will be ready for all who donate their blood two weeks after the exercise. In order to make things easier, there will be attendance lists for all who participate to facilitate pickup/delivery at a convenient location when the cards are ready. The advantages of having a donor card are:
- They allow for speedy location of your donation records.
- If you or a family member ever require blood, you will be first in line for what is available in storage (You get points each time you donate). Since the number of regular donors in the country is low and the bank is always operating at a minimum, it’s only fair for regular donors to be given dibs whenever they have an emergency.
Not sure if you’re eligible to Donate? Here’s a link to some information from the StACC-Ghana Facebook Page. You can also sign up for the event here. We need to have an estimate of the number of people attending so some form of snacks can be provided. It is important that donors have something to drink and nibble on after giving blood. So your clicking join on the facebook event page will be very much appreciated.
I will be recording my experience on Saturday 22nd, regardless of whether or not I am allowed to donate. The blood stored in the bank only lasts for 35 days. I am hoping that my experience (and other bloggers’) will encourage others to go out and give blood on the regular. You never know when you, or a loved one may need blood. It would be a shame for the bank to be empty if you should ever be in need of some.
This is the time of year when most people choose to give back to society. This year, let’s do something different. Grab a friend and head over to Korle Bu or Noguchi. Even if you can’t donate, you can help out with serving drinks and snacks. Oh and did I mention it’s an opportunity for free confidential medical screening? Let’s give a little blood which will go a long way to saving lives.
Now I want to hear from YOU:
- Have you donated Blood before? What was your experience?
- Never donated? I want to know if you would consider giving blood.