Donating blood is a lifesaving venture worth investing in. All of us at one time can become “needy” for blood and you never know whose blood will save your life. Life is a matter of time, no one can tell when the clock will tick for your time to come, and blood transfusion will be the only option.
It does not matter who is the blood donor or blood receiver, a donor can be a receiver in the future as well as a receiver can be a healthy donor in the nearest future. So donating blood without any expectation is the great humanity and vital part in the life saving process. Do not donate blood only to your relatives or friends, donate blood voluntarily for anyone, anywhere without expecting returns and that is the real heart of Humanity!
In order to prevent the blood transmitting diseases through the blood transfusion, it becomes very mandatory to carefully investigate (through the advanced testing techniques like nucleic acid testing) the every unit of collected blood to prevent the life threatening diseases such as the AIDS, syphilis, Hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C, malaria and many more. Blood donation should be encouraged by the voluntary blood donors only as their blood is safe instead of professional or paid blood donors. Voluntary blood donors are heroes because they target to save the precious life of someone. What a noble cause!
To make aware the people towards the blood donation, a variety of events, awareness programmes, camps and supplementary promotional activities are organized in all areas of Uganda by Uganda Red Cross Society in partnership with the Blood Bank and some private bodies like the Indian Association of Uganda.
There are various criteria for the blood donors according to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. The age of blood donors should be between 18 – 60 years, weight 45 kg or above, pulse rate range 60 to 100/ minute, BP normal, Hb 12.5gm/100ml and body temperature should not exceeds 37.5 degree centigrade.
This has been tested and some great blood donors have chosen to live by example.
Meet Allan Ssemwanga, one of the Youths / Volunteer for Uganda Red Cross Society. He chose to be the first to donate blood at a Blood Donation Point organized as a way of encouraging the youths in the Country. Many Youths fear donating blood for many reasons. Some say, they are not sure of their HIV status and want to hide. Others use drugs and think their blood is “not safe / clean”. It is not your role to judge your blood. Someone is an expert at that and will test it. Donate it!
"I want to encourage the youths to be courageous. Being uncertain of your HIV Status does not mean tomorrow you will not need blood. Donate it for the sake of someone who will need it someday" says Allan.
Allan turned up on a Saturday morning at Acacia Mall in Kampala at about 9:00AM. He donated blood and continued running his errands as usual. He has also been one of the people encouraging Ugandans to donate blood as a way of saving lives. This activity was organized by the Indian Association Uganda in partnership with Uganda Red Cross Society. This should encourage Ugandans to support the Blood Drive to save enough blood for those who will need it anytime. Many people want / expect rewards in exchange for their blood. Others think they should be paid because their blood is “precious”. Every one’s blood is precious and highly valued. Until that time when the precious blood is not there, someone else’s blood will be your only savior. Donate it, you never know when you will need it.
Join Allan and become the next life Savior!
By Irene Nakasiita – Head of Communications, URCS