On World Blood Donor Day 2012: Help by example, UNFP senior staff donate blood in White Nile

26 June 2012

Kosti, White Nile. June 20, 2012. As part of the commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day in Kosti, White Nile state, UNFPA senior staff, along with the top state officials and community leaders, donated blood with a view to saving mothers’ lives and reducing maternal mortality in the state.

"Every time we donate blood, we save a life," said Ms. Sharareh Amirkhalili, UNFPA Deputy Representative in Sudan after donating blood at the mobile facility. Since hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death in Sudan, added Ms. Amirkhalili, every community member has a role to play by voluntarily donating blood to save mothers' lives.
The voluntary blood donation campaign was organized through a collaborative effort by UNFPA, Reproductive Health Directorate of the State Ministry of Health and the Blood Bank. 
State Minister of Health, White Nile State said the state is grateful to UNFPA support in raising the community awareness about the importance of voluntary blood donation. "We will continue with our commitment to focusing on reducing maternal mortality especially through coordination with the National Blood Bank to increase the capacity of the state's blood bank," he added.
"We are honored to have been part of this campaign," said Dr. Anas Jabir Babekir, Assistant to the UNFPA Representative in Sudan who also donated blood. UNFPA supports this campaign in response to the results of the White Nile Maternal Death Review that showed a safe and reliable blood supply is crucial to saving mothers' lives, added Dr. Babekir. 
The celebration included awareness-raising carnival that toured the city with participation of all health sector partners and ended at Alhurria Square where government, NGOs, community leaders and the media gathered to donate blood.
With UNFPA support and as part of the celebration, 150 mobile phones will be distributed to midwives in the state's 9 localities in response to the Maternal Death Review recommendations to assist in providing timely medical care and referrals.