Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Ngọc Thành, 59, from HCM City has donated his blood 64 times but cannot remember the exact year when he did so for the first time.
“I was very impressed with the word ‘humanity’ and humanitarian movements. I have nothing but my desire to do humanitarian activities. So, I decided to donate blood voluntarily to save the lives of needy patients,” said Thành.
Thành who currently works as a security guard at a supermarket, has loved humanitarian activities since he worked at a shoe company more than 20 years ago.
Thành said that he used to be an alcoholic. Once at a blood donation event, a doctor said that his donated blood cannot be used because tests showed several problems.
“I knew my blood was not used because I drank too much. I felt sad and guilty. So, I decided to give up drinking and started my blood donation journey,” said Thành.
Thành also encouraged his wife and family members to donate blood. Her wife has donated her blood more than 20 times. He has even registered to be a member of a live blood bank club in HCM City and regularly donates blood.
“I acknowledge that donating blood not only supports needy patients but also helps my body be well and my spirit more comfortable,” said Thành.
“For me, donating blood is not a big thing but a normal activity. However, no matter who the receivers are or where they are living, my family and I feel happy because we’ve been able to save the lives of needy patients everywhere,” he said.
Thành regrets that he doesn’t have much time left to continue his good work. Under Vietnamese law, people above 60 years old are not permitted to donate blood.
“If the health sector permits it, I will continue to donate blood and keep donating until the end of my life,” added Thành.
Nguyễn Ngọc Thành. — VNS/Photo Thanh Hải
Thành is one of 100 outstanding blood donors who were honoured for their contributions to the country’s voluntarily blood donation movement at a ceremony in Hà Nội on June 9. He was one of the top two persons who donated the most.
The event is part of a series of activities to celebrate World Blood Donor Day (June 14) across Việt Nam, organised by the National Steering Committee for Voluntarily Blood Donation Mobilisation, the Ministry of Health and the Việt Nam Red Cross Society.
Speaking at the ceremony, National Assembly Vice Chairman Uông Chu Lưu praised the efforts of the committee from central to local levels and contributions of 100 outstanding donors who represent thousands of bloods donors across the country.
“I’m very touched and proud when I heard that many of you (blood donors) have donated blood up to 40, 50 times, some even donated blood more than 60 times. You are the most beautiful flowers in the humanitarian flower garden. You actually are heroes of patients,” said Lưu.
Lưu said that blood shortages were still occurring in several localities.
“More long-term sources and efforts should be invested for communication and mobilisation of voluntarily blood donation to change people and the community’s awareness and behavior, especially people in mountainous, remote and island areas,” said the NA vice chairman.
Lưu also called on fellow citizens and soldiers nationwide, no matter where they are or what position they hold, to support and spread the humanitarian movement of voluntary blood donation.
“People who meet health conditions should actively participate in blood donation efforts and regularly donate blood for a healthy and humane nation,” added Lưu.
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 gifts.
According to the Ministry of Health’s statistics, the country collected nearly 1.5 million units of blood in 2017, 98 per cent of which came from voluntary donors. The collected blood has met nearly 80 per cent of the country’s emergencies, treatments and preventive demands. — VNS