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‘Hardly 10% people donate blood voluntarily in Pakistan’

By M. Waqar Bhatti
December 04, 2023

Hardly 10 per cent of the people donate blood voluntarily in Pakistan, forcing hospitals to ask for replacement donors to meet the blood needs of patients, renowned philanthropist and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN), Dr Abdul Bari Khan, said on Sunday.

Dr Khan urged young students to regularly donate blood. “We are trying to motivate youngsters to donate blood voluntarily and also persuade their friends, family members and common people to regularly donate blood as well as contribute financially to save lives of needy and deserving patients.”

The IHHN and the Dar-e-Arqam School signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to increase voluntary blood donations and fundraising for the health network.

A person donates blood during in this image. — AFP/File
A person donates blood during in this image. — AFP/File

Under the agreement, the school’s students of class nine to 11 would be registered with the Indus Yaqeen youth volunteer/ambassador programme as volunteers/ambassadors to raise awareness and funds for the IHHN, while students of kindergarten to class seven would be engaged in activities related to the Indus Tarbiyat Programme.

“The Indus Hospital Blood Centre needs to conduct voluntary blood donation drives on a regular basis to save patients’ lives. We request the Dar-e-Arqam School to help us conduct drives at school premises with the centre’s support at least once in an academic year for teachers, staff and parents,” said Dr Khan.

He said the centre recently became the only blood bank in the entire South Asia to achieve the Association for Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies accreditation in blood banking, and termed it a great achievement for the health sector in Pakistan.

The IHHN will facilitate the Dar-e-Arqam School in organising health education sessions for faculty, students and their families regarding basic life support training, awareness about breast and other preventable cancers, healthy eating and lifestyle, importance of hand hygiene, basic first aid training and stress management, he added.

The school’s operations director, Muhammad Sajid, said the school would raise funds through various activities that would be conducted throughout the year by students under the supervision of the school faculty. The school will also collect donations on behalf of the IHHN and send it the entire amount, he added.

Sajid said the Indus Yaqeen programme and the school would promote the activities on their digital platforms, adding that their collaboration is in good faith and both the institutions would use their best efforts to serve the suffering humanity, and the nation in general.

Assuring complete support to the IHHN in serving the ailing humanity, he hoped that other schools and education systems would step up and support the noble cause of the health network.