AS part of World Blood Donor Day commemorations, the Lesotho Blood Transfusion Services (LBTS) held an event on Saturday at Queen Elizabeth II hospital to thank youths who save lives every day through their blood donations.
According to LBTS Blood Donor Coordinator, Makatile Rammoteng, safe blood donations play a vital role in saving lives every year, adding that it also improves life expectancy and quality of life for patients suffering from life-threatening conditions.
He said the Saturday event was meant to honour youths who donate blood, such as members of the blood donor association Pledge 25.
Pledge 25is a club for young voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors which promotes blood donation and positive risk free healthy lifestyles among the youth. It was launched in 2008 by LBTS and consists of young people aged between 16 and 30years.
Members commit or make a “pledge” to donate blood regularly, or to donate blood 25 times in their lifetime.
“Most of the blood donations we get come from young people in schools and Pledge 25 members who have always supported LBTS,” Mr Makatile said.
“During the event, three youths – Motlatsi Mokhobo, Lefu Mothobi and Mokete Ramainoane – were honoured with the Best Donor, Best Pledge25 Club Member and Good Leadership Skills awards respectively. In short these three were outstanding in their blood donations.
“Pledge 25 has about 500 members, so we cannot award them all. That is why we selected the outstanding performers.”
On his part, Pledge 25 Coordinator, Motseki Ramateneng, said he and the other club members decided to donate blood after realisingthe commodity wasa “gift from God” that can only beextracted from people.
“We are the blood manufacturers, so we donate it to give life to those people who need it to survive,” Mr Ramateneng said.
“Donating blood is our way of giving back to the needy without expecting anything in return.”
Every year, on 14June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day.The event serves to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
Lesotho will join the rest of the world to mark this important day at a national commemoration at Queen Elizabeth II hospital on Sunday.Thetheme of this year’s commemorations is “Thank you for saving my life”.
The celebrations will also serve to encourage more people to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters”.
The objectives of this year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign are to:
- Thank blood donors for their life-saving donations;
- Promote regular voluntary unpaid blood donation;
- Create wider public awareness of the need for regular donation because of the short shelf-life of blood components and to encourage existing and potential donors to donate blood at regular intervals
- Focus attention on donor health and the quality of donor care as critical factors in building donor commitment and a willingness to donate regularly; and
- Persuade ministries of health to show their appreciation of regular voluntary unpaid donors and provide adequate resources to provide quality donor care.