|Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien visit blood donors at the 9th Xuan Hong (Red Spring) festival yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Thanh Hai
HA NOI (VNS) — Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan yesterday beat a drum to open the 9th Xuan Hong (Red Spring) festival, the largest blood donation event in 2016.
Speaking at the event, held at the National Convention Centre in Ha Noi, health minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien praised the role of the nation's youths and students, and remarkable contributions of the voluntarily blood donation movement, during the past 22 years.
"People come to the Red Spring festival to share their feelings and responsibilities with needy patients by donating their blood. This has contributed to a change in the public's awareness about blood donations and created a good habit of donating blood on the occasion of the new year," said Tien.
The minister also wished the institute and the city to continue this initiative, encouraging people in all walks of life to donate blood to save lives.
Organised by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, and the Ha Noi Youth Blood Donation Mobilisation Association, the annual event aimed to ease blood shortages during the period after the lunar new year and raise community awareness about voluntarily blood donations.
"Yesterday, the institute's blood store had only about 1,500 units of blood that could serve the demand of blood for emergencies and treatment at 150 hospitals in the northern region during one day," said institute director Nguyen Anh Tri at the event.
"Today, we expected to collect at least 8,000 blood units (350ml each) from more than 25,000 participants," said Tri.
On Saturday, 400 doctors and health workers from 16 hospitals paraded through the main streets of Ha Noi to raise the community's awareness about voluntary blood donations and encourage people to donate blood.
Launched in 1997, the festival has collected nearly 42,000 blood units, over the past eight campaigns.
In 2012 the festival collected 7,684 blood units from nearly 25,000 participants, setting a record for the largest amount of blood collected during a single day in the country.
In 2015, the health sector received more than 1,156,600 units of blood, of which nearly 97 per cent were donated from voluntary donors. — VNS