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Appeal for blood donors

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
People donate blood in Phnom Penh yesterday on World Blood Donor Day. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The government is appealing for more people to donate blood to help reverse a national shortage in supplies. 
Health Minister Mam Bunheng said more blood is urgently needed to save the lives of patients in hospitals throughout the country.
Speaking in front of 400 donors at the 14th annual World Blood Donor Day in Phnom Penh yesterday, he emphasised the importance of making regular donations, so blood stocks are sufficient should an emergency arise.   
“I would like all relevant institutions to educate people about the significance of making blood donations to save lives,” Mr Bunheng said. “Giving blood does not harm your health.” 
The theme of World Blood Donor Day this year was: “Give blood, Give now, Give often.” 
Mr Bunheng said it underlined the role that every person can play in helping others by giving the valuable gift of blood. 
World Health Organisation representative to Cambodia Liu Yonguo said donated blood helps save millions of lives around the world every year. 
However, in many countries including Cambodia, there is an inadequate supply of safe blood.  
“Giving blood is saving life. A single unit of donated blood can save up to three lives,” he said.  
Dr Yonguo said only 31 percent of blood donated in Cambodia comes from volunteers. The majority comes from family donors.
“In Cambodia, the blood collected from voluntary blood donations has not yet met the national needs,” he said.  
“While the proportion of voluntary blood donations in most neighbouring countries has reached 80 to 90 percent, Cambodia only reached 31 percent by the end of 2016.”
Hok Kim Cheng, director of the National Blood Transfusion Centre, said his organisation received voluntary blood donations of 65,145 units in 2016, up 20 percent year-on-year.
Oeng Mouyching, 19, a pharmacology student at the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh, was at the event to donate blood for the first time.  
“I am donating my blood to help save lives and because I wanted to do something good for the community,” Ms Mouyching said.

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