Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Trần Nguyên Dũng, 49, from HCM City, has donated blood on 62 occasions but cannot remember the exact year when he did so for the first time.
Dũng only remembers that he donated blood for the first time when he was still in the army in the 1990s. He decided to do so to save the life of his friend’s son who needed huge amounts of blood for a heart surgery.
“My first blood donation call came simply. I heard my friend’s son needed blood immediately. So I made up my mind quickly and went to the Nguyễn Tri Phương Hospital to donate blood,” said Dũng.
“I decided to register with the HCM City’s list of voluntary blood donors when I went to the hospital and witnessed many underprivileged patients’ lives.”
From that moment, blood donation has become one of his frequent activities. Dũng donates regardless of day or night whenever a patient needs blood.
Running out of money, Dũng once even borrowed money from a friend and cycled 50 kilometres to donate blood to a needy patient.
Dũng says that he has felt healthier after several blood donations.
“I will continue to donate blood and I hope to create a record for donating blood at least 100 times in my life,” Dũng says.
Dũng is among the 100 outstanding Vietnamese blood donors who will be honoured for their contribution to the voluntary blood donation movement in Việt Nam at a ceremony on Wednesday in Hà Nội.
Volunteers form a blood drop to celebrate the World Blood Donor Day June 14. — Photo nihbt.org.vn
The event is part of a series of activities under the framework of the Global Event of the World Blood Donor Day on June 14, hosted by the National Steering Committee for Voluntarily Blood Donation Mobilisation and the Việt Nam National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion from June 11 to June 14.
The event will also be attended by many international blood donors from Lao, Cambodia, South Korea, Thailand, India and Netherlands.
Among international guests, Floris Langedam, 68, from the Netherlands, donated his blood 580 times and Ryu Jaehan, 29, from South Korea, donated his blood 87 times. Yudhbir from India has organised more than 5,000 blood donation events to select more than 500,000 people to donate blood, and found himself in India’s Limca Book of Records.
On Sunday, hundreds of blood donors, health workers, international guests and cyclists including three Iranian volunteers who cycled from Iran to Việt Nam, pedalled along main streets of Hà Nội to call people and the community to donate blood and to promote voluntarily blood donation.
The World Blood Donor Day is aimed at raising awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood.
With the theme “Give blood. Give now. Give often”, this year’s campaign will focus on blood donation in emergencies. Activities will focus on encouraging people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood and engaging authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes.
It will also aim to build wider public awareness of the need for committed donors, to celebrate and honour individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become donors.
According to the Ministry of Health’s statistics, the country collected more than 1.4 million units of blood in 2016, 90 per cent of which came from voluntary donors, while 10 per cent was collected from people who sold their blood for money. The collected blood has met more than 60 per cent of the country’s emergencies, treatments and preventive demands.
Additionally, the health sector has set a goal to collect at least 1.7 million units of blood in 2017. — VNS