Brunei sees steady rise in blood donors

Brunei sees steady rise in blood donors

Brunei has recorded a steady increase in blood donors with 2,857 new donors last year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health's Blood Donation Centre.

A total of 14,259 pints of blood were donated last year, up from 13,250 pints the previous year.

The centre's head, Chong Kim Moi, said most of the donors, or 5,970 people, were males aged 25-44 last year.

The second largest group consisted of males aged 18-24 with 1,890 donors.

"We want to encourage more youngsters to donate blood… Young people are particularly in demand since for the most part they are healthier than other age groups and thus more able to donate blood," Chong told The Brunei Times.

She advised individuals, especially males, to donate blood every two to three months as it helps regenerate new blood cells as well as reduce the chances of blood thickening.

"Many donors come back (to the centre) and say they feel good and fresh… They just feel healthier."

Brunei will observe World Blood Donor Day with an event that serves to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and its components as well as showing appreciation for individuals who selflessly donate their blood to aid others without prejudice.

The observance event was expected to see the launch of the national blood policy, publication of the second edition of the donor handbook and a forum on this year's theme.

Observed annually on June 14, this year's theme, 'Safe Blood for Saving Mothers', highlights the importance of timely access to safe blood and its products as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

According to the World Health Organisation website, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications every day, with most of these deaths occurring in developing countries.

Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability.

Access to safe and sufficient blood along with rational and safe use of blood transfusions still remains a major challenge in many countries.

Blood donation campaigns will also take place nationwide with Brunei-Muara holding its own campaign on June 16 and 17 at Dewan Al-'Afiah, MoH from 8.30am to 11.30am and 1.45pm to 3.45pm.

The Tutong district will host its campaign on June 19 at Serambangun Multi-purpose Hall at 9am to 2pm, Kuala Belait's Suri Seri Begawan Hospital will have it on June 21 from 9am to 2pm and Temburong district will host it at Bukit Retak Hall, Youth Centre on June 26 at 9am to 2pm.

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