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Blood Donation Campaign at Qatar Health Congress

In recognition of blood donation as the life blood of medical practice, 2009, the premier international medical congress and exhibition in the Middle East, has set up a blood donation vehicle for the duration of its congress.

Parked right in front of the Doha Exhibition Centre’s main entrance, the blood drive is a symbolic reminder of why all the professionals from around the world have come together to Qatar Health 2009: to keep the flow of medical knowledge and technology going.

The vehicle is also there to help Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) blood donation unit reach its 100 percent target of volunteer blood. As of 2008, as much as 85 percent of the 17,000 units of blood used in all transfusions in Qatar was from blood donations. Alternatively, other sources of blood for patients are donations from patients’ relatives and self- donations made 10 days prior to an operation.

Blood is indispensable as it is the medium for carrying all oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body for it to function properly. In fact, it cannot be manufactured or replaced by any other material making blood donation the life blood for .

While fear of needles and the possibility of infection are common deterrents from blood donation, Al Mahmoudi’s 28 years of experience in blood banks says otherwise. “Blood donation not only reactivates blood circulation and prompts bone marrow activity, but also has positive psychological effects. When people are made aware of their health as a blessing that they can share with others, they are more likely to enjoy their health,” she said.

“HMC understands this and that is why we honour the donor’s gracious act through moral, symbolic rewards and certificates of appreciation. On the June 14, every year, we hold a ceremony to honour our top 500 donors that make saving lives possible,” Al Mahmoudi said.

HMC staff ensures that blood donation is safe and hygienic through its streamlined procedures of registration, donation and screening. Blood donation takes no more than 15-20 minutes. The blood donation vehicle will be available at the Qatar Health 2009 premises from 9am to 9pm today.

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