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Gifting life

9 Dec 2020 By MOHAMMED TAHA

Norway-based Arab-European Centre of Human Rights and International Law honours veteran blood donor Ahmed al Kharusi

A blood donor who has given the gift of life 136 times, Ahmed bin Hamad al Kharusi was recently honoured by the Arab-European Centre of Human Rights and International Law based in Norway. The centre has appointed Kharusi  ‘Ambassador of Peace and Goodwill’.

He was given the recognition not just for donating blood in Oman and abroad but also his efforts to raise awareness on the importance of blood donation and its health benefits for donors. 

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Kharusi said, “In 1983, my brother and I were in a car when we met with an accident. I was driving. My brother died on the spot. I was admitted in the hospital and needed a lot of blood. Several people donated blood to save my life. That’s when I made a promise – to donate blood regularly for the rest of my life.”

Thirty-four years since his first blood donation, he feels a sense of fulfillment every time he donates even today. “I feel happy about such humanitarian work and community service,” Kharusi said. 

He informed that all blood banks in all wilayats of the sultanate currently need blood due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “All blood banks in Oman need about 1,500 units of blood every week,” Kharusi said. 

During the pandemic, Kharusi has so far been involved in more than 11 blood donation campaigns in several wilayats and governorates in cooperation with voluntary teams. 

“Unfortunately, people are afraid to donate because of COVID-19. They need a great deal of convincing before agreeing to donate. We spread awareness of the importance of blood donations through various social media platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook. We have managed to continue our work with persistence and determination,” Kharusi said. “Donating blood doesn’t just save lives but there are health benefits for donors too.” 

The times Kharusi has donated blood is outnumbered by the awards and recognitions he has received – close to 250 honorary shields and 500 certificates from various organisations and countries, which find pride of place on his living room walls and showcase.

While he’s committed to continue donating blood, he urges community members to do the same.

 

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