Every blood donor is a hero, are you?

Published: June 14, 2012

According to a new study, it was established that giving blood every six months leads to fewer heart attacks and strokes. PHOTO: FILE

June 14 is the day the world celebrates ‘World Blood Donor Day’ to honour and encourage those individuals who selflessly donate their blood with no expectations in return. Today, we commemorate this noble cause that helps save millions of lives around the globe.

World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) was first observed on June 14, 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa as a tribute Karl Landsteiner. Landsteiner is a Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system and so we celebrate the WBDD on his birthday to honour his work.

The theme of the 2012 WBDD campaign is ‘Every blood donor is a hero’. This idea focuses on celebrating those individuals who donate blood each year – heroes. It encourages people all over the world to donate blood as well and to do so regularly.

This year, Pakistan is also celebrating this event to strengthen the mission of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to appreciate those people who gallantly offer their services and time selflessly towards saving humanity. These heroes work unpaid and volunteer to give their blood, playing a small, yet necessary role in a mission that saves lives.

Due to the lack of health facilities in Pakistan, the demand for blood donation and transfusions are always at an all time high. In this region, particularly in the case of women and children, there is a need for an adequate supply of blood.

More than half a million women die, every year, from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth worldwide (99% of them belonging to developing countries). Haemorrhaging (blood loss) accounting for 25% of the complications, is the most common cause of maternal death.

If more people donated blood, these lives could be saved and children could grow up with the presence of a mother in their lives.

In addition to this, malnutrition, Thalassemia and severe Anemia are the major diseases prevailing in children. Up to 70% of all blood collection in Pakistan is given to children with Thalassemia, which accounts for about one in ten of all childhood deaths in Pakistan.

Imagine how many lives of innocent children you could better by donating blood.

Spreading awareness, about the WBDD, amongst people and especially among the youth is very important in a country like Pakistan where there still lies a misconception regarding blood donation; if a person gives blood then its creates deficiency or has the potential to damage/harm the donor’s health.

To promote the idea of blood donation in Pakistan, the government health department itself, with the help of WHO and Pakistan Red Crescent, must start awareness campaigns where people can be educated about the importance of blood donation and the advantages of their contributions, through workshops, benefit walks and through social media.

Different medical studies have shown that the benefits of blood donation are not just for those receiving the blood, but for those giving it too. According to a new study published by the American Medical Association, it was established that giving blood every six months led to fewer heart attacks and strokes in test participants between the ages of 43 to 61. Excessive iron produced in the body is thought to contribute to heart diseases, and donating blood on a regular basis reduces the iron stores in the body preserving heart and vascular health.

Recently, Telenor, a Pakistan mobile phone network carrier, played a vital role in spreading the word by sending out approximately two million text messages to its subscribers for the WBDD. This is a first step to improving our health and saving a life in the process.

Its a win-win scenario, so why not?

What we need to remember is that every blood donor is a hero; you can be one too.

Follow Kashif on Twitter @kashifjanjua

Kashif Yousaf Badar

Kashif Yousaf Badar

Is a member of the Youth Parliament Pakistan 2012 and has an MBA in Banking and Finance. He tweets @kashifjanjua

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Noman Nayyir Kulachvi

    Brilliant Mr Kashif ….. Recommend

  • http://www.gulfamnet.com Gulfam Mustafa

    Excellent piece of writing, dude!Recommend

  • Sajid Mahmood Awan

    What else one can donate to save a precious life?

    A great service for humanity.Recommend

  • http://www.savelife.pk shazy

    I request all of you and Express Blogs editor , please Join us at https://www.facebook.com/BloodDonorSociety

    And help us to share with large audience via blog and tribune fb pages Recommend

  • Muhammad Hammad Malik

    nice one kashif….Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    excellent work done by u, keep it up….Recommend

  • Usman Ansari

    Kashif u r excellent great work doneRecommend

  • Usman Ansari

    kashif bhai aap great ho yaaar kiya baat ha aap ki .ALlah aap ko kamyaab kare Recommend

  • http://mzahoor.blogspot.com maryam zahoor

    Too bad i am anorexic, or i would’ve loved to do it!Recommend

  • http://mzahoor.blogspot.com maryam zahoor

    *borderline anaemic not anorexicRecommend

  • Anum Mohsin

    Well written Kashif Yousaf Badar!! Gud way of promoting such nobel cause…. keep it up!!Recommend

  • Awais

    Reminded me of another article on Tribune Blogs about a person who couldn’t donate blood in some foreign country as the nurse…Whoever it was thought he was carrying a disease because he was of Pakistani origin….Irrelevant but yeah…. Recommend

  • Asim Arif

    Nicely crafted Article, I read it earlier on Express Tribune, for the Writer I must say that you did a great work & it made me think about donating Blood.Recommend

  • umarraza

    good work plz keep it upRecommend

  • Naveed Hassan

    hats off dear.awesome blog.
    Really good research and blog on such an important issue…i have seen many injured and patients dying due to over bleeding and unavailability of a blood donor ……
    No one can’t feel the importance of a blood donor until he/she needs a blood donor…
    Nice job bro!
    Keep it up!Recommend

  • Kashif Yousaf Badar

    thanks a lot Naveed,and ur info and pain for this noble cause. hats off to the All Blood Donor of the [email protected] Hassan: Recommend