x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Schools targeted in campaign

A major campaign, organised by the Blood Donation Centre in Dubai, has been launched to encourage more people to give blood.

DUBAI // A major campaign was launched yesterday to encourage more people to give blood. The campaign was organised by the Blood Donation Centre in Dubai, which had 60,000 registered donors last year but collected only 33,000 units of blood. Dr Akram al Hilali, a consultant haematopathologist at the centre, said many people in the UAE were willing to donate but did not. "If we go to visit people in their place of work we find that they will do it," he said. "But they do not come to us." Organising workshops with public and private schools in the Emirate will be a key component of the campaign, which will run throughout the year. "We need to educate the younger generation to make it a kind of culture, rather than just a pulse reaction when people think, 'Somebody needs blood so let me give it to them'. We need a good stock for major emergencies." In January Dr Hilali won an award at the Arab Health conference, the second largest in the Middle East, for his work in improving the efficiency of blood distribution. As well as visiting schools, centre staff will hand out educational leaflets to workplaces detailing who is eligible to donate and how the process works. munderwood@thenational.ae