Please donate blood, Health Ministry urges as supply runs low

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) is pleading with the public to donate blood as the nation’s blood supply is declining due to public concerns during the donation process.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, in a statement Sunday (Aug 1), that blood supply has also decreased due to organisers cancelling their blood donation drive nationwide.

“The average amount of blood required per week for patient use nationwide is 14,000 bags of blood, including at the National Blood Centre which needs 3,500 to 4,000 bags per week for supply to hospitals within the Klang Valley.

“However, the increase in Covid-19 cases from May 31 until July 25 has seen a significant reduction in blood collection for the whole country,” he said.

“The declining trend of blood donation is worrisome and would affect the ability to treat patients,” Dr Hisham added.

He reassured that the blood donation process will prioritise the donor’s safety alongside the organisers and the personnel involved.

“Each blood bank must comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) based on the ‘Guidelines for Prevention and Control During Blood Donation Activities to Prevent the Transmission of Infectious Diseases Covid-19 – Annex 49’ to improve public safety.

“These guidelines have been recently updated in line with international standards,” he added.

Some of the guidelines are to make sure the personnel and donors are healthy before entering the donation area.

“This includes initial screening performed on prospective donors where only those who are asymptomatic, have no Covid-19 infection or have no close contact with Covid-19 patients within 14 days can continue blood donation,” the statement said.

Other typical SOPs will also be observed throughout the donation processes, including wearing face masks, temperature screening, MySejahtera QR code scanning, and completing health declaration forms.

With the strict SOPs, the public is encouraged to donate blood at designated venues such as the National Blood Centre at Jalan Tun Razak, MidValley Mall Donation Suite in Kuala Lumpur, Puspanita Donation Suite in Putrajaya, or at the nearest blood bank centres nationwide.

The public can get more information on the operating hours and other blood donation centres through www.pdn.gov.my or the National Blood Centre Facebook page. – THE STAR ONLINE

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