University and college students with the desire to help keep their country healthy donated 350 units of blood during this year's first blood donation day which was dubbed Red Sunday 2012 at the National Planning Exhibition Palace on January 8.
|Students donate blood on this year's first blood donation day, called Red Sunday 2012, in Hanoi|
"Blood shortages have happened frequently from year to year in Vietnam, especially during the Tet (lunar new year) period due to lack of donors," said Editor in chief of Tien Phong newspaper Dao Cong Huynh.
"Red Sunday will be an annual day for humanity and the disadvantaged in Vietnam," stressed Huynh.
Director of NIHBT Nguyen Anh Tri said that Hanoi's hospitals still needed around 5,000 units of blood for emergencies during Tet.
"Blood collected during the Red Sunday event is just in time to ease the risk of shortages for emergencies and treatments in Hanoi hospitals during Tet," said Tri.
Vietnam needs around 4,500 units of blood daily for emergencies and treatments. The blood bank only meets between 30-40 percent of nation's demand at all times and only 10-15 per cent during the Tet period, according to Tri.
Leu Trung Anh, a student of the Hanoi Architecture University, has donated blood nine times during his three years of study.
"I registered to donate blood on my birthday during my first year at school," said Anh.
"I have set no goal or record to donate blood but I'll give whenever I can in order to help needy patients," said Anh.
Forecasts from the health sector indicate that Vietnam will need 900,000 units of blood in 2012. Nearly 770,000 units were collected in 2011, an increase of 15 per cent compared with the previous year.
A blood donation campaign to mobilise volunteers during Tet and for the Red Spring Festival in February was launched at the Dong Da Cultural Park on Saturday by the Vietnam Red Cross and the Ministry of Health.
At the event, National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan asked the National Steering Board for Voluntary Blood Donations by calling on officials, public employees and workers in organisations, businesses and armed forces to actively join the campaign.
Tran Ngoc Tang, Chairman of the Vietnam Red Cross and Permanent Deputy Head of the board said that nearly 90 per cent of blood collected in the country came from voluntary donors.
Under the campaign, each city and province nationwide aims to contribute at least 15 percent of its blood donation target set for 2012. So far, at least 160,000 people nationwide have registered to give blood and 120,000 units have been collected.