Thursday October 28, 2021

PRCS marathon raises awareness on blood donation

September 24, 2021

Islamabad : The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it, is not. The pandemic has brought voluntary blood donations to a virtual standstill. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) would usually collect 500-1000 blood donations in any given month, which have now fallen to a few dozen units only. Around 90% of PRCS blood supply has been threatened by cancelation of community blood drives due to Covid-19.

The Chairman of PRCS, Abrar ul Haq, shared the dismal state of blood collection in Pakistan while speaking at a marathon organised by PRCS under the theme ‘Give blood and keep the world beating’ here on Thursday. The aim was to raise awareness on the need for safe blood transfusion and of the critical contribution that voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems.

Around 200 volunteers participated in the marathon, which started from PRCS National Headquarters and ended at the same point, passing through Professor Ashfaq Ahmed and Pitras Bukhari roads. The race concluded with a ceremony marking the blood donation awareness campaign and distribution of awards to winners of the race. The Regional Director of IFRC Asia-Pacific, Alexander Matheou, Secretary General Dr. Adeel Nawaz, Heads of Delegation of IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent staff and volunteers, among others, attended the event. Speaking on the occasion, Abrar said, “The closure of educational institutions, which had been a major source of blood collection, has also severely impacted the blood donations.” He emphasised the need to promote a culture of voluntary blood donations to increase the quality of transparent and safe blood. “This day also provides an opportunity to call upon governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources and put into place, systems and infrastructures to increase collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors,” he added. Alexander Matheou said, “Donating blood is the greatest service to humanity and Abrar ul Haq is an inspiration for all the volunteers and people for his work and contribution for this cause.”

In the end, shields were distributed among regular blood donors and prize cheques were awarded to winners of the marathon.