The National Centre for Blood Transfusion (NCBT) targets to collect over 75,000 units of blood this year compared to over 68,000 that was collected last year, officials have said
Alexia Mukamazimpaka, the head of blood donors’ mobilisation at NCBT, disclosed the information on Monday in Gakenke District where over 300 youths donated blood.
The blood donors are part of over 1,5000 Catholic youths from Kigali diocese who are participating in a one-week youth forum organised by the Church.
“Currently, we have a good number of people who are willing to donate blood and we target to collect over 75,000 blood units this year from 68,600 that were collected last year,” Mukamazimpaka said
“Though we keep on campaigning and working with partners so that more people can donate blood, we are happy that the number of blood donors is increasing and institutions are helping,” she added.
She said that, currently, Police and members of Rwanda Defence Force are among the most willing to donate while individuals as well as other institutions have also understood the importance of donating blood.
Young blood donors speak out
Janvière Uwashema, 22, a resident of Gakenke Sector in Gakenke District was among those who donated blood.
“I committed to donate blood because I am healthy and I know there are people who are in critical condition and need blood," said Uwashema
"As a Christian I know that the life I enjoy is thanks to God's mercy and that those who need blood to survive should not fail to because there are no people to donate blood," she added
Theogene Nkurunziza, 29, from Gatsata Sector in Gasabo District, who is a regular donor and was donating for his 11th time, said donating blood is indirectly giving back to God that has given him good life and health.
“Donating blood is very important because it is an act of love as it is saving lives of the people who could otherwise die, people need to understand that they save lives through donating blood, I feel happy when I know that someone had been saved thanks to the donated blood, besides in some cases I may also need blood,” he said
According to Fr Jean de Dieu Nshimiyimana, the head of Catholic youth at Kigali Archdiocese, over 800 youths expressed their will to donate.
"We trained the youth on why they should donate blood and over 800 understood and committed to willingly donate blood. We hope that more can donate even if we can’t reach the number due to limited time," he said