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“Every Blood Donor is a Hero”.. UN heads and development partners lead blood donation in Sudan

13 June 2012

Khartoum, June 13, 2012. UNFPA Representative in Sudan, Ms. Pamela Delargy, together with other UN agencies' heads and development partners' representatives donated blood today in commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day 2012.

The world is celebrating the day this year under the theme of “Every blood donor is a hero”, reflecting the idea that everyone can become a hero by giving blood.

“Hemorrhage is the leading cause for maternal death in Sudan. Thousands of women die during delivery due to lack or weakness of the blood supply,” said Ms. Delargy. No woman should die giving life and voluntary blood donation could save mothers’ lives, she added.

Ms. Delargy noted that donating blood is a simple thing to do. “Every Sudanese or family member could donate blood once or twice a year and that could make a big difference,” she said.

Country Representatives of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Habitat, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO) and the Humanitarian Coordinator at the Swiss Embassy in Sudan donated blood at the National Blood Transfusion Centre in Khartoum.

“We are donating blood today in support of a week-long campaign on voluntary blood donation,” said Dr. Anshu Banerjee, WHO Representative in Sudan. “Donating blood is not harmful to health and it is safe. There is no more satisfying experience than saving a life without putting your own at risk,” he added. Dr. Anshu urged people in Sudan, especially youth, to become regular volunteer blood donors.

Dr. Ahmed Hasan Mohamed, manager of the National Blood Transfusion Centre said that “we really value the contribution of the UN agencies’ heads to the campaign. It sends the strong message about the significance of having safe and uninterrupted supply of donated blood to save lives, added Dr. Mohamed.

Some of the UN agency heads who participated are regular blood donors. “This is my 178th time to donate blood. Each time, I feel good because I know I am helping someone who needs it,” said UNEP Country Representative Robin Bovey.

Mr Patrick Olsson, Counsellor for Humanitarian and Development Affairs with the Swiss Cooperation Office in Sudan, also said it was not the first time he donate blood, adding that “It’s fun to donate blood, and it’s painless.”

“It is healthy for individuals to donate blood and this is my way of helping people,” said UN Habitat Representative Wael Alashhab.

With support from WHO, a number of events take place across Sudan during the week, including events in all Darfur states to raise awareness about the need for safe blood and blood products, and to acknowledge every voluntary blood donation is a life-saving gift.

A national event will take place in Port Sudan on June 14th with the participation of high-level government officials from eastern Sudan region.