Not eligible to give blood, veteran Lê Đình Duật (standing) of Hà Nội's Thanh Xuân District convince other people including his family members to join blood donation efforts. Photo taken at a blood donation event in 2018. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
HÀ NỘI — For the last 22 years, veteran Lê Đình Duật of Hà Nội’s Thanh Xuân District has donated blood and encouraged others to give blood.
Now, at 79 years old, he is carrying on his good work, seeing it as his way of life now.
Born in Thọ Xuân District of the central province of Thanh Hóa, Duật joined the army during American War when he was 18.
He witnessed many of his comrades suffering injuries or even death, and some of them died after losing too much blood.
Duật said he would never forget the first time he donated blood to injured soldiers he met at Địa Lợi Ferry station in the central province of Hà Tĩnh.
“It was a night in May 1966, I headed a team of seven to observe in advance a battlefield area for our artillery. When we were going back to our base, we passed by a medical station,” Duật recalled.
The head of the station asked Duật’s team to donate blood as many injured soldiers were dying because medical staff were unable to find blood to transfuse to them.
“At that time, we had to return our base as soon as possible. However, I just could not refuse as they looked at us with imploring eyes,” he said.
All seven members of Duật’s team quickly took health checks and four of them, including Duật, were eligible to donate blood.
“After giving my blood, I felt so excited and happy as I could help save a person. To me, that was so great,” Duật said.
Saying goodbye to Duật’s team, the head of the medical station told them that if only all seven of them could have given blood, they could have saved more injured soldiers.
Duật has never forgotten those words and doesn't want anyone to die due to a blood shortage.
In early 1991, Duật retired and started joining social activities at his residence in Thanh Xuân Trung Ward, Thanh Xuân District in Hà Nội.
He donated blood often, but in 1999, he was unable to register for blood donation as he had low blood pressure.
Duật found another way to help out. He read about blood donation and transfusion and told other people about it.
He visited houses in his neighbourhood, gave them educational materials and assuaged their worries about donating blood.
Duật said some people still believed that giving blood would make them get sick, while others even said that Duật was crazy or told him to mind his business.
To gain people’s trust, Duật first called on his wife and his children to donate blood.
“My wife, my two daughters and my son understood me and supported me a lot,” Duật said.
Duật’s family has donated more than 183 units of blood so far, while university students who lived in Duật’s neighbourhood were also convinced to give blood.
The veteran has made great efforts to encourage people to give blood, resulting in more than 730 units being donated.
Duật and his family spend a lot of time talking to prospective blood donors and bringing them to blood donation sites, all to save the lives of others. — VNS
HÀ NỘI — April 7 was chosen as 'All-people blood donation day' in Việt Nam in 2000, marking an important turning point for the blood donation movement in the country.
It has become an occasion to raise public awareness of the purpose and significance of blood donation. The day also aims to encourage people from all walks of life to donate blood.
The entire country collected more than 16 million units of blood in 2000 – 2019. More than 300,000 units of blood were donated in 2000, and the number increased to exceed 600,000 in 2010 and topped 1.4 million units in 2019.
The percentage of the population donating blood increased from 0.3 per cent in 2000 to 1.5 per cent in 2019 and nearly 1.5 per cent in 2020.
Last year, more than 1.4 million units of donated blood were collected.
A nationwide network to motivate people to donate blood has also been formed, with all provinces and cities establishing provincial and district-level Steering Committees for blood donation and 85 per cent of communes and wards having Steering Committees for blood donation. — VNS