The Blood Bank at Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital has launched blood drive campaigns during the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to a series of lectures and awareness campaigns on the subject, so as to commemorate International Blood Donor Day, which falls on the 14th of June of each year.
According to the World Health Organization, the theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Blood connects us all”, highlighting the common bond that all people share in their blood. The slogan, “Share life, give blood”, draws attention to the role that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and promoting community cohesion.
Consequently, Makassed’s Blood Bank organized a blood drive campaign, launching it on June 15 following Iftar. It was attended by a number of citizens who came voluntarily to donate blood.
Hospital CEO Dr. Rafiq Husseini praised the role of Makassed’s Blood Bank in leading these awareness campaigns, especially during the month of Ramadan, a month of benevolence, adding what could be more valuable to give as charity than ones own blood to ones fellow man. He stressed that Jerusalem is the heart of the nation and that Makassed’s Blood Bank is the vibrant heart of East Jerusalem’s hospitals and all other hospitals, noting that the Blood Bank plays the central role in providing blood and blood products, despite the difficulties experienced in ensuring adequate quantities of blood at times while simultaneously ensuring its quality and its safety.
Dr. Husseini also stressed the importance of the role played by the Blood Bank in mending Palestinian wounds during the historical events faced by Palestinians over the past decades, most notably the first and second Intifada, the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in Hebron, and recurring Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.
Dr. Husseini emphasized the importance of maintaining the continuity of the campaign launched by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to donate blood. He thanked voluntary blood donors and all partners involved in organizing these campaigns, such as the directors of medical centers in Jerusalem and the different volunteer youth groups, giving a special mention to al Isra’ Medical Center and residents of the town of Sur Baher for distinguishing themselves by organizing regular blood drive campaigns.
For his part, Blood Bank director Mr. Khaled Khleif called on volunteers to participate in the blood drive that will be carried out from Saturday to Wednesday, at 9 pm, throughout the holy month of Ramadan, in order to ensure an adequate supply of blood through regular donations from volunteer donors. He added: “At Makassed Hospital’s Blood Bank we keep up with evolution and the latest developments, and are distinguished with highly qualified personnel, thus aiming to reach 100% voluntary donations by the year 2020 according to the Blood Bank’s strategic plan.”
As for Blood Bank technician Mohammed Hanash, he pointed out that ongoing awareness campaigns at Makassed’s Blood Bank aim to educate people on a larger scale of the need to donate blood regularly and free of charge, and to encourage those who have never yet donated blood, especially young healthy people, to donate, in addition to shedding light on the concept of the need to share life by donating blood, focusing attention on blood services as being a community service, and clarifying the importance of community participation so as to reach adequate safe and sustainable blood supplies. ”
Hanash indicated the health benefits of donating blood, notably to reduce the likelihood of heart disease and clogged arteries because blood donation reduces iron stores in the blood, in addition to performing a thorough examination to ensure the donor’s health safety, and to stimulate circulation.
According to WHO, World Blood Donor Day has been celebrated annually since 2004, with the aim of improving the safety and adequacy of national blood supplies by promoting a substantial increase in the number of safe, voluntary, unpaid donors who give blood regularly.