Visually impaired become torchbearers, donate …

July 13, 2009

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Shimla: It was the first camp of its kind in Himachal Pradesh in which six visually impaired persons came forward to donate blood voluntarily. In fact, the blood donation camp was inaugurated by Shobhu Ram, president of Blind Persons Association of Himachal Pradesh by donating blood. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal also paid visit to the camp and lauded efforts being made by Umang Foundation to protect the rights of children with thalassemia in the state. As many as sixty persons, including girls, donated blood in the camp to support children with thalassemia.

The camp was held in association with SEWA Trust, and was dedicated to the loving memory of two young journalists who died young. Ajai Srivastava, a crusader for the rights of the disabled, convener of the camp and president of Umang Foundation, said blind persons gave a very strong message to the society that they want to make a positive contribution to the society and should not be excluded at all. Anurup Thakur, Tarachand, Kartar Sharma, Gopal and Naveen Kumar, all blinds, also donated blood. Shobhu Ram thanked Ajai Srivastava for giving an opportunity to blind persons to donate blood and support the cause of children with thalassemia.

The Chief Minister, while visiting the blood donation camp, said that Umang Foundation was rendering a great service to the society by creating awareness about the importance of blood donation and the problems being faced by children with Thalassemia.

Rakesh Kanwar, founder trusty of SEWA Trust, was among those who donated blood. He said the trust would continue to support such cause in future also. Prof. Vepa Rao, patron of the trust, Ms. Meeakshi Kanwar, a trusty, was also present in the camp. The camp received active support from members of YES, a local organization of youth.


DM department organises blood donation drive

July 13, 2009

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The Assets Management Department of Dubai Municipality organised a blood donation campaign in collaboration with Al Wasl Hospital Blood Bank at its premises in Abu Hail. The campaign, held during the official working hours, saw tremendous response from the employees from various departments of the Municipality.

Khalifa Hareb, Director of Assets Management Department said that the organisation of the campaign was a reiteration of the importance of its contribution in the service of society.

Hareb explained that blood donation contributes to many health benefits such as revitalizing bone marrow to form new blood cells, stimulating the heart muscle and blood circulation and thus reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke among donors.

“It also helps the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol, and is also a cure for the high proportion of blood in smokers accompanied by headache and dizziness,” he said.

“In addition to the health benefits there are great humanitarian benefits that contribute to filling the need for blood for Thalassemia patients every three to four weeks, and many cases of diseases such as bleeding and heart open, and others,” Hareb added.

The doctors say there are the conditions and advices for donating blood. The donor’s age should be between 18 and 65 years, should be in good health, should not be taking any medicines by mouth or needles, the weight of the donor should be at least 50 kg for women and 60 kg for men, and the proportion of haemoglobin should be less than 13.5 grams for men and less than 12 grams for women.

HMC honours blood donors

July 12, 2009

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The Hamad Medical Corporation’s blood donor unit has honoured around 600 individuals and corporate organisations who have taken part in blood donation campaigns organised by the unit.

Some 522 male and female blood donors, including five distinguished and long-time donors as well as 75 public and private organisations, were felicitated.

The event was organised as part of the World Blood Donor Day commemoration, the fourth of its kind being held by the blood unit.
Present at the event among other dignitaries were Minister of Public Health HE Abdullah Khalid al-Qahtani, HMC managing director Hanan al-Kuwari, HMC board chairperson Latifa al-Houty and senior government officials.
Speaking to reporters after the recognition ceremony at the Sheraton, the minister commended the unit’s efforts and all the donors who have made it possible for the blood bank to meet 85% of blood requirement.

“I hope we will reach the 100%-level before the end of this year,” HE al-Qahtani said.

The country stopped importing blood in 1987.

The number of donors so far has reached 17,000.

In her speech, al-Houty mentioned that last year’s statistics showed that the blood donation campaign by the hospital yielded 17,360 units covering about 85% of the blood and blood components required.

“Our endeavour to raise public awareness has been so far rewarded and we hope that by carrying on with our vigorous public campaign, we would be able to achieve 100% and meet the needs of the HMC blood bank and of various private and public hospitals in the country,” she said.

The in-charge of the blood donor unit Sidiqa al-Mahmoudi said the unit attached a great importance to the World Blood Donor Day and recognised it as an international event that strengthens the links between voluntary blood donors and patients.

“It is a continuation of a journey started a long time ago, when the unit used to celebrate this day by organising several activities to disseminate information about the culture of voluntary blood donation,” she said.

The Blood Bank laboratory chief Dr Ajayeb al-Nabet also spoke on the occasion.

Highlights of the event, sponsored by RasGas company, were the recitation of a poem by one of the best donors and a recital by a young thalassemia patient.

Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Organizes an Appreciation Ceremony for the Blood Donors on the World Blood Donor Day -14 June 2009

July 12, 2009

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Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) managed by Cleveland Clinic celebrates the “World Blood Donor Day 2009” on Sunday 14 June 2009. SKMC is owned and operated by SEHA, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

On this special occasion, the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank (ADBB) organizes a special ceremony to acknowledge all their regular blood donors and corporate organizations in the ADBB Building today. The management of SKMC will honor 25 regular blood donors and the top 15 organizations that have supported the ADBB and organized donation drives for their employees during the past 5 years.

World Blood Donor Day is an international health awareness event celebrated annually on the 14th of June to support national blood donor programs in building a stable base of voluntary unpaid donors who make a long term commitment to blood donation.

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank (ADBB), the major donor center and blood bank in Abu Dhabi is part of the Transfusion Medicine Services division of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at SKMC. It provides blood supply that covers the needs of governmental and private hospitals in Abu Dhabi and provides support to other Emirates.

Dr. Laila O. Abdel Wareth, Chair of Laboratory Medicine at SKMC said “during the World Blood Donor Day, we would like to encourage voluntary, non – remunerated blood donation which contributes in saving lives. By donating regularly, the donors help us maintain an adequate supply on hand and we encourage their continued support. Millions of people owe their lives to people they will never meet. We would like to recognize those people today and thank them for their deeds”.

“Some of our patients who benefit from blood donation are also invited to the event. We have three thalassemic patients who will also give speeches to thank the blood donors for their humanity donation of blood.”

Dr. Naima Oumeziane, head of the ADBB commented “Amongst our top 25 blood donors, some of them have been donating blood regularly for the past 20 years. They used to visit us for donation 3 – 5 times a year in an average”.

“During the first five months of 2009, the ADBB collected 10700 units of blood and 300 units of Apheresis Platelets. UAE Nationals who represent 15.1 % of all donors comprise the largest number of donors amongst the many different nationalities that give blood each year”, Dr. Oumeziane added.

Dr. Maria Araneta, head of Transfusion Medicine Services at SKMC mentioned that voluntary blood donors are the foundation of safe blood supply because they are associated with significantly lower levels of infections that can be transmitted by transfusion. Testing and screening is important, however, the safest donations come from volunteer donors. She revealed SKMC’s plan to convert to 100% voluntary donations in the near future.

Noor Islamic Bank to organize second blood donation drive

April 29, 2009

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Noor Islamic Bank PJSC today announced it has expanded the scope of its second Blood Donation Drive to include donors from the public as part of a country-wide programme to raise awareness on Thalassemia.

Staff and visitors will donate blood from 9.00am to 2:30pm at the Bank’s headquarters in Emaar Square, Building-1 on 29 April.

The campaign, to be held with the support of Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services, is part of the initiative to support the UAE’s programme of eradicating the disease in the country by 2012.

Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO, Noor Islamic Bank, said:

‘Thalassemia is a serious blood disorder that affects one in 16 Emiratis each year. It is a condition that is not confined to the sufferer alone, but affects the entire family as well. At Noor Islamic Bank, we are committed to playing our role in not only raising awareness about this genetic condition, but also lending our support by donating blood to organizations that help patients and their families.’

The blood donation drive is part of the Bank’s corporate social responsibility programme that supports community needs including special needs, breast cancer and charity initiatives.

The Blood Donation Centre in Al Wasl Hospital will receive the blood. The Centre performs various humanitarian duties such as providing blood for several Thalassemia children who are in constant need of transfusion every three to four weeks. The donations will also be used by cardiology patients who have undergone open heart surgeries, those suffering from leukemia and patients with other blood disorders.

Thalassemia is a genetic blood condition that is inherited by children from their parents. The condition limits the patient’s ability to produce enough haemoglobin in the blood. Children born with Thalassemia usually develop symptoms of severe anaemia within their first year.

SKMC launches blood donation drive for its employees

April 1, 2009

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The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, which operates under the direction of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City managed by Cleveland Clinic launched a blood donation campaign for two days 24 and 25 March 2009 at SKMC

Staff from the various facilities that comprise the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City volunteered in response to the growing demand for blood and blood components. The campaign exceeded its goal of donors and more than 65 blood unit were collected by the end of the first day.

SKMC is owned and operated by Seha, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Blood Bank provides blood supply covering the needs of governmental and private hospitals in Abu Dhabi and provides support to the other Emirates. Blood transfusions often are needed for trauma victims due to accidents and burns, heart surgery, organ transplants, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia.

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank medical staff performed tests for hemoglobin, blood pressure and blood type. The blood collection process takes approximately 10-20 minutes per donor while the entire process from the time volunteers register and begin the screening until they leave took approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Educational brochures, leaflets and posters were distributed around the facility to raise awareness among the employees about donating blood.

Volunteers provide nearly all the nation’s blood supply for transfusion; there is no substitute for Human Blood. If eligible donors give blood twice a year, it would greatly help in maintaining an adequate blood supply for the country. Eligible blood donors can donate blood 3-4 times a year safely.

Dr. Atul Mehta, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Laila Abdel Wareth, Chairman of Laboratory Medicine at SKMC praised the efforts of Dr. Maria M. Araneta, Head of SKMC Transfusion Medicine Services and Dr. Naima Oumeziane, Clinical Head of the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank for organizing the event and thanked the staff who donated blood to save lives.

The Blood Bank staff ensures that international standards are complied with and that all blood donors were carefully screened to meet strict criteria and that all blood that is donated undergoes 6 major tests for infectious disease. The blood donation process is very safe; the health care team at the Blood Bank will assess donors to ensure their safety. It is not possible to acquire any disease through donating blood because only new, disposable, sterilized equipment is used for each donor.

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 9:00pm and on Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Organizations that would like to host the Mobile Blood Bank can call the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank to make arrangements.

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Criteria for Blood Donors:

– He/She must be in good physical condition and overall good health (a basic physical is given to check blood pressure, weight, temperature and hemoglobin)
– He/She must be at least 18 years old
– He/She must be a minimum weight of 50kgs
– He/She must successfully complete a health history questionnaire

If the donor successfully meets the above criteria, the blood drawn will be tested and screened for the following 6 infectious diseases (in addition to ABO and RH Blood Type):

1. HIV 1 and 2 Antibody / HIV p24 Antigen (AIDS)
2. Hepatitis B Core Antibody (antiHBc)
3. Hepatitis C Antibody (anti HCV)
4. HTLV I and II Antibody (anti HTLV I and II)
5. Serological Test for Syphilis
6. Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBs Ag)

Approximately every three seconds, someone needs blood. By donating one unit of blood a donor can help save the lives of up to three people. One unit of blood is separated into several components. These components are red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. Red Blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues in the body and contain hemoglobin which gives it its red color and must be used within 42 days. Platelets help blood to clot and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live. Platelets must be used within 5 days. Plasma helps maintain blood pressure, carries blood cells, nutrients, enzymes and hormones, and supplies critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity. Plasma can be frozen and used for up to one year. And finally cryoprecipitate, a component of blood obtained by freezing and thawing plasma. Cryoprecipitate is useful in replacing some clotting factors in patients missing them congenitally or because of operation or trauma.

International Distribution by Blood Type:

The approximate international distribution of blood types is as follows. Distribution may be different for specific racial and ethnic groups:

O Rh-positive — 38%
O Rh-negative — 7%
A Rh-positive — 34%
A Rh-negative — 6%
B Rh-positive — 9%
B Rh-negative — 2%
AB Rh-positive — 3%
AB Rh-negative — 1%

In an emergency, anyone can receive type O red blood cells, and type AB individuals can receive red blood cells of any ABO type. Therefore, people with type O blood are known as ‘universal donors,’ and those with type AB blood are known as ‘universal recipients.’ In addition, AB plasma donors can give to all blood types.

Blood donation camp by UMANG

March 19, 2009

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It was a very touching moment when Aditi (14), a girl child with Thalassemia felicitated Razia (20) by presenting her a red rose as a token of love, affection and respect, immediately after the later donated blood in a camp specially organized in support of children with Thalassemia at the Ridge in Shimla on 14 January, 2009. Defying severe cold wave in the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, a large number of people, including young girls and women, gathered at the Ridge to support the cause and to celebrate Makar Sankranti. As many as 90 people donated blood in the voluntary blood donation camp. The camp was organized by Umang Foundation for Children with Thalassemia, in association with the Himachal Pradesh Chapter of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS).

Ganesh Dutt, Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) inaugurated the camp with an appeal that people should come forward for the service of humanity as per the high traditions of Hindu Society. He congratulated the organizers of the camp for motivating people, especially the youth, towards this noble cause.

It was the second camp of its kind in this hill state. Not only Aditi, Arjun, Sahil, Pranjal and many other children with Thalassemia were present in the camp along with their parents to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the blood donors.

Founder of Umang Foundation and Chairman of SDRS, Ajai Srivastava donated blood for the 74th time. He told that there were three objectives of this voluntary blood donation camp. First, it was to address the acute shortage of blood in the blood banks of Shimla during present severe cold conditions, second, to make focus on the problems of children with Thalassemia and last but not the least, to celebrate daan parv Makar Sankranti with the people of Shimla and tourists by donating blood. He said it was necessary for Hindus to redefine their festivals as per the needs and circumstances prevailed in the society. Interestingly many Muslims, including girls like Razia and Salma, also donated blood in the camp. Salma, student in a local college, said, “There is nothing like voluntary blood donation camp. When you donate blood for an unknown person, the artificial barriers of caste, creed, religion and language are automatically demolished.” She said it was the happiest moment of her life when she was donating blood.

Dalel Thakur, General Secretary of SDRS donated blood for the 29th time. Many journalists like Dhananjay Sharma, Him Kiran Manta and Krishna also donated blood. Regular blood donors and office bearers of SDRS and Umang Foundation, Yashwant Rai, Bharti Kuthiala and Sanjeev Sunta very successfully motivated many particularly the first timers, for the blood donation. Dr. Sandeep Malhotra, Blood Bank Officer at Indira Gandhi Medical College Blood Bank, was happy to see a good turnout at the camp and congratulated the organizes for the success of the camp.

It is pertinent to mention that with in few months of coming in to existence, Umang Foundation for Children with Thalassemia in the guidance of Ajai Srivastava, has done an exemplary work to bring the children with Thalassemia in the agenda of the society and the government in Himachal Pradesh.

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