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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Qatar has been ‘100% self-sufficient’ in blood supply over last decade

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The health institution launched a fresh nationwide campaign in December to encourage the community to regularly donate blood.

Qatar has been 100 percent self-sufficient in blood supply for the last 10 years thanks to thousands of regular blood donors in the country, Medical Director of the Blood Donor Centre at HMC Siddiqa Al Mahmoudi has announced.

The country’s blood services receive an average of 150-250 blood units from volunteer donors daily, the senior official said, adding that over 21,000 volunteers have registered since the beginning of the year.

“Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of care in our healthcare system. They save lives and improve the health and quality of life of many patients every day,” Al Mahmoudi told local news organisation, The Peninsula.

“We in Qatar have a large number of voluntary blood donors and we are proud of them, and they are the greatest achievement of this generous country. With their support, we have saved hundreds of patients.”

The official added that donors are the country’s biggest pillars, with most donating blood on a regular basis to help save thousands of lives. During weekdays, the blood department receives more than 150 blood units from Qatar’s community.

On the weekend, the number can double, reaching up to 300 units.

Al Mahmoudi highlighted that such statistics show the strong commitment of community members towards saving lives.

The official also stressed that donating blood during the current health situation is safe and not a cause for concern, urging people to continue donating to ensure self-sufficiency in the country.

“Donating blood is easy and safe, and it is a simple medical procedure that is carried out by following international practices. Generally there are no complications or side effects to the donor,” she added.

“To ensure that the process of donation is safe, potential donors are very carefully assessed for suitability before they can donate and to make sure that the procedure caries no hazard to the donors.”

Why you should donate blood this World Blood Donors Day

According to medical research, regular blood donations provide a plethora of benefits to the donors, including weight loss, preventing hemochromatosis  – a condition in which there is an excess absorption of iron by the body, as well as lowering the risk of cancer and heart diseases.

According to researchers from the University of California, donating a pint of blood (450 ml) helps your body burn about 650 calories.

Read also: Sidra Medicine saves life of a baby with ‘rare’ Omphalocele condition.

Those wishing to donate will first need to register at HMC reception from Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 9.30pm and Saturday from 8am to 2pm using their QID, health card, driver’s license or passport (visa holders are not permitted to donate blood except GCC resident ID holders).

The donor will then go through a medical and physical assessment to ensure they are fit to donate. If they pass, the nurse will direct them to the location of the blood donation.

Correction: An earlier version of this report published on Tuesday incorrectly said Qatar will be self-sufficient for the ‘next’ decade. After clarifying with MOPH, we can confirm the statement referred to the ‘previous’ decade.


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