Solomon Islands Red Cross Society marked the World Blood Donor Day on Monday, June 14 with the theme “Give Blood and Keep the World Beating” with a focus on youths.
The World Blood Donor Day is a day set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) to highlight the crucial role of voluntary blood donation in the health and care of people everywhere.
In Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands Red Cross Society’s voluntary non-remunerated blood donation programme working in partnership with the Ministry of Health is an important programme.
“As is shown in the trend of voluntary blood donation data in 2020, the annual required amount of donated blood for those who are sick, undergoing theater operation or during emergencies is around 7,000 units of blood.
“Solomon Islands is yet to meet the full demand as annual voluntary blood donations only reach around 3,088, which is 3,000 less,” said Abana Kwalagau, a lab technician at the National Referral Hospital’s Blood Bank.
He also mentioned that with this trend, there is a risk of facing problems if it continues.
“We need 20 voluntary blood donors to give blood each day to be able to meet daily demand for blood. The trend we are having at the moment is not helpful, in that, if there is a situation such as a major disaster or health emergency that requires immediate supply of blood to address, the National Referral Hospital would not be able to cope.
“This is because we only have a small number of volunteer blood donors who can come forward to assist in donating blood to help others,” Mr Kwalagau added.
“Solomon Islands Red Cross, under its partnership with the Ministry of Health, continues to make awareness in schools, offices and communities for people to be aware of the importance of donating blood but to also call on them to come forward to actually donate,” says Sam Wa’aria, Solomon Islands Red Cross Society’s Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donation Programme officer.
He also highlighted that while the National Society continues to make public awareness, there remains a lot more challenges to overcome.
One of the many challenges is the fear of the needle, which has a pain that goes away in less than a minute after it is inserted.
“We continue to make awareness in schools, offices and communities regarding what voluntary blood donation is and its importance in saving lives. This is regardless of the challenges we have met especially with those such as the fear of needle which is often overcome by voluntary blood donors after they have donated blood for the first time.”
The World Blood Donor Day was marked with an awareness at the Honiara City Council front car park area.