|Volunteers donate blood yesterday at the Red Sunday 2015 blood donation festival in Ha Noi's My Dinh National Stadium. Thousands of people gave blood in 18 localities throughout the country. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Thousands of youth, students and volunteers donated their blood yesterday at the Red Sunday 2015 blood donation festival, which took place in 18 provinces and cities nationwide.
Organised by the newspaper Tien Phong (the Vanguard), the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, and the National Traffic Safety Committee, the annual event aimed to collect 15,000 units of blood to meet increasing demand from hospitals, especially considering the upcoming Tet holiday.
"The festival aimed to ease hospitals' blood shortages from now until the end of February," said Le Xuan Son, Tien Phong's editor-in-chief.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Red Sunday was evidence of Vietnamese people's love for each other and for tradition.
Phuc praised Tien Phong for its contributions, and donors for volunteering to give their blood over the past few years. He said the community's awareness about the importance of donating blood needed to be raised.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said all healthy people, especially medical staff, should donate blood to help needy hospital patients. Business managers and organisation leaders were asked to join hands with the health sector, and encourage their staff to participate in the movement.
Tien said there has been remarkable improvement in community's awareness about the need for blood, thanks to the development of the donation movement over the past 20 years. The quality and quantity of blood donations has increased.
Miss Viet Nam 2014, Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen, and runner-up Nguyen Tran Huyen My donated blood for the first time. Miss Talent, Kieu Anh, donated her blood for the fourth time.
Duyen said Vietnamese people should give blood to those in need. Anh said she hoped her blood could help hospital patients who were fighting diseases.
According to the health ministry, Viet Nam needs around 1.8 million units of blood per year to keep up with demand.
The health sector faces shortages in the summer and during Tet, when blood donors – mainly students – go home to enjoy the holidays. — VNS