The Ramadhan effect – more blood donors needed!

It seems that the reduced number of donors during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan leaves the blood bank in Singapore a critical state after several bleeding emergencies.

This must mean that in Singapore, our Muslim friends represent a significant number of blood donors. How generous of them!

This Ramadhan shortage is also felt in Muslim countries such as Iran, Kuwait, Indonesia and Malaysia. Click the links to read the news articles in each country.

I was chatting with an ex-leukemia patient recently who told me about the difficult times she experienced when blood stocks were low. She and her fellow patients laboured through those difficult times and were relieved when things returned to normal.

Now free of the disease, she is grateful, for her afflicted friends have left this earth while she lives. But she is unable to play a role to donate as she has very low levels of haemoglobin still.

I am surprised at the number of my friends who are unable to donate as they struggle with anaemia, a past hepatits infection, or other health reasons. They are willing and eager and have the right heart for the task. But are unable.

So its time for the rest of us to step up. I can only donate next in October, so let me cheer you on while you give this a shot – Remember the Ramadhan effect and donate blood generously!

“More blood donors needed,” Channel News Asia, 18 August 2011.

“SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) are calling on O and A blood donors to come forward to donate blood within this week and the next.

In a statement, both agencies said the recent increased hospital utilisation caused by several bleeding emergencies, and reduced support for corporate blood mobiles due to the fasting month, have resulted in a slow recovery of the daily blood supply.

In view of the upcoming long weekend, SRC and HSA aim to ramp up the current blood stocks to meet the daily transfusion needs of patients as well as for bleeding emergencies.

In Singapore, more than 350 units are needed daily to meet the transfusion needs of patients in hospitals.

All healthy individuals between 16 and 60 years, weighing at least 45 kilogrammes, can donate.

Donors who have not made a donation in the past 12 weeks are encouraged to donate as well.

Blood donations can be made at:

Bloodbank@HSA, located at 11 Outram Road (opposite Outram Park MRT station).
Opening hours are as follows:

  • Tuesdays to Thursdays: 9:00am to 6:30pm
  • Fridays: 9:00am to 8:00pm
  • Saturdays: 9:00am to 4:30pm
  • Sundays: 9:00am to 2:00pm
  • Closed on Mondays and public holidays

Bloodbank@Woodlands, located at 900 South Woodlands Drive, Woodlands Civic Centre, #05-07.

Opening hours are as follows:

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 12:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Saturdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Sundays: 9:00am to 2:00pm
  • Closed on Tuesdays and public holidays

Bloodbank@Woodlands will be open on the eve of the Hari Raya Puasa public holiday on Monday, August 29, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm.

Those who have not donated blood before in Singapore can visit www.hsa.gov.sg/donationcriteria or call 6220- 0183 for more information on the blood donation criteria or to make an appointment for blood donation.

– CNA/cc

Update – I see that last Ramadhan, three mosques handed out flyers about the new Bloodbank@Woodlands to worshippers (link). Next year BloodBank will try reaching out during Ramadhan. Hmm, I think we should also urge us non-Muslims to step up!

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