KARONGI- 81 people yesterday donated blood during the national celebrations to mark the International Blood Donor Day in Karongi District.
Speaking to the gathering, Dr Bonaventure Nzeyimana, an official from the Ministry of Health, said that blood was still needed in large quantities.
“With the available statistics and the increasing need to further strengthen the health system, blood is still a basic requirement in our hospitals. This should be an inspiration to people to donate,” said Nzeyimana, who is in charge of health services at the ministry.
He disclosed that countrywide, pregnant mothers and malaria patients comprise the largest number of patients in need of blood.
On behalf of the National Centre for Blood Transfusion, Dr Theophile Nsengumuremyi, pointed out that due to the high demand of blood, plans are underway to establish two other blood transfusion centres in Rusizi and Rubavu districts.
Tatien Ndahayo, 31, said he had donated blood 10 times in five years, insisting that he feels obliged to help.
“It gives me a feeling of satisfaction knowing that I have saved a life when I donate blood,” Ndahayo said.
In Petronilla Nyirabazungu, a resident in Rugabano Sector, disclosed to the New Times that she could have died had she not received blood transfusion during the delivery of her son, now aged one year.
“I was very lucky to have survived because of the single unit of blood, which I was given when I was pregnant. Those who are able should not hesitate to donate,” Nyirabazungu urged.
Medical experts say that donating blood is healthy because the human body needs to supplement its periodic and natural ability to manufacture new blood components.
Worldwide, the international Blood Donor Day was celebrated in Argentina under the theme “More blood More life.”