The Hanoi Department of Health and the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) will launch the 15th edition of the annual Xuan Hong (Red Spring) blood donation festival on February 12 with a view to collect 7,000 units from donors this month (1 unit = 500 ml).
Trinh To Tam, head of the Trade Union of the municipal health sector, said that the blood donation campaign will take place till February 20.
“This year’s event is expected to draw the participation of 10,000 donors at five locations across the capital city of Hanoi. The Covid-19 prevention and control regulations will be strictly implemented during the festival,” Tam said.
He added that blood donors should make a registration via the site https://hienmau.vn/events/lehoixuanhong/ or the app "Hien mau" for receiving the best support from the organizers.
Tam stressed that hundreds of people have responded to the municipal health sector’s call for blood donation to cope with the current severe blood shortage.
Young people participate in voluntary blood donation in 2021. Photo: Ngoc Tu/The Hanoi Times
All blood donors were required to wear face masks, wash their hands with disinfectant solution and sit two meters apart from each other to prevent Covid-19 contagion.
“The NIHBT would apply strict safety measures against Covid-19 during blood collection. This blood donation campaign is aimed at helping address the shortage of blood for treatment after the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday,” Tam said.
He said the long holiday and harsh weather has exacerbated the already severe blood shortage as blood is a biological product with very short shelf life while blood transfusion need is permanent.
Besides, the pandemic of acute respiratory infections caused by Covid-19 has further aggravated the blood scant supply.
Although the number of patients visiting and being treated in hospitals has decreased, leading to low demand for blood, the NIHBT still needs an average of 700 units of blood daily to supply to hospitals in 25 provinces and cities.
In an interview with The Hanoi Times via phone, Dr. Bach Quoc Khanh, director of the NIHBT, said that blood donation in Vietnam has seen ever greater support over the past years but blood collection is mainly carried out by mobile blood collection teams, resulting in an irregular supply of blood, which in turn leads to blood shortage.
"Hanoi is a city with high density of population, which implies great reserve of blood. The Xuan Hong festival will make it easier for people to donate blood regularly, contribute to forming the habit of donating blood in a sustainable way. Donating blood has become widespread in Vietnam thanks to several campaigns to improve people’s awareness on the matter," Khanh said.
The Xuan Hong festival is one of the year’s largest annual blood donation events. It was jointly launched by the Hanoi Youth Association for Blood Donation and the NIHBT in 2008, and conducted nationwide in 2010. Over the past 15 years, nearly 92,000 units of blood have been collected.