The Ministry of Health (MoH) has appealed for urgent blood donations at the Central Blood Bank in Bausher due to an acute shortage in all blood types.
People can donate blood from Saturday to Thursday, between 8am and 7pm and on Friday from 3pm to 7pm. ‘To book an appointment for donation, send the word ‘appointment’ via WhatsApp at 94555648,’ MoH said.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Ahmed bin Hamad al Kharusi, who has donated blood 170 times, said, “Blood banks are suffering from a severe shortage, especially with the spread of COVID-19 and the night movement ban. The Eid al Adha holidays will worsen the situation.”
He said that blood banks in all the wilayats of the sultanate currently need blood due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These banks need about 1,500 units of blood every week,” Kharusi said.
During the pandemic, Kharusi has so far been involved in 13 blood donation campaigns in several wilayats conducted in cooperation with voluntary teams.
“Unfortunately, people are afraid to donate blood because of COVID-19. They need a great deal of convincing before agreeing to donate. We spread awareness on the importance of blood donations through various social media platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook.”
Sulaiman al Busaidi, a volunteer who has organised about 300 blood donation campaigns in ten years to supportthe Central Blood Bank, said, “Donating blood doesn’t just save lives but there are health benefits for donors too. People in Oman need to be aware of the importance of blood and platelet donation. There is a severe shortage in blood banks due to COVID-19.”
Busaidi noted that there is an urgent need to create awareness on the issue. “There should be an effort to increase the number of blood and platelet donors in the country.”
According to Busaidi, it’s always a challenge to reach a wider audience to create awareness on such drives. “Our aim is to make people aware that they should visit the nearest blood bank for donations rather than wait for a campaign.”
He said that donating blood every three months is good for health. “People should make it a habit to visit any blood bank after completion of the three-month period.”