Residents in Musanze District have been urged to donate blood voluntarily in an attempt to save millions of lives and improve the health and quality of life among people in need.
The remarks were made at a highly attended blood donation exercise, organised by the National Centre for Blood Transfusion (NCBT) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health- as part of the Blood Donor week.
Dr. Shaibu Katera, Director of NCBT in Musanze, stressed the importance of the blood donation to guarantee availability of adequate healthy blood to save lives of patients, who are in dire need of blood.
“We check for various components, blood donators are required to fulfill health requirements prior to donating blood, so we give blood to various hospitals in need,” Dr Katera said.
The World Blood Donor Day, which is marked annually on June 14, provides the opportunity to thank special people, who help to raise awareness about the need for more support.
Dr. Katera urged residents to live healthy lives by ensuring proper hygiene, good feeding and seeking timely medication whenever they fall sick.
Prospective blood donors must be healthy and free from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis or infected by HIV/AIDS.
Eugene Bagirishya, 29, who has donated blood 22 times, testified that he is driven by the desire to help people involved in accidents.
‘’I started donating at the age of 18, I will continue doing this for as long as I can,’’ he said.
Health officials say every person is capable of donating blood provided he/she is aged between17 and 65 years, with a body weight of 53 kg and above- provided the individual is in good health, and not involved in risky lifestyles.