Volunteers at the launch of the fifth Hanh Trinh Do (red journey) at the national trig point GPS 0001 in Ca Mau (Photo: cand.com.vn)

Ca Mau (VNA) – A torch was burned at the national trig point GPS 0001 at the Ca Mau cape cultural park on July 1 to kick off the fifth Hanh Trinh Do (red journey),  a nationwide annual blood donation drive.

This was the fourth time the southernmost province of Ca Mau was selected as the starting destination of the programme in the southern region.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Anh Tri, General Director of National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT), stressed the importance of the event in helping ease blood shortage during summer and encouraging people engage in the humanitarian activity.

On July 2, the campaign ran its first blood donation festival in Ca Mau, before heading to Kien Giang. With support from 80 volunteers, the journey will cover 18 provinces and cities in the southern and central regions.

As part of the programme, another group of 60 volunteers will embark on its red journey across 10 northern localities starting July 10. It is scheduled to meet the group from the south in Hanoi on July 27.

The red journey lasts until July 31 and is expected to collect at least 45,000 blood units.

Last year, the drive toured 27 cities and provinces nationwide to provide advice on blood donation and thalassemia – a genetic blood disease to 500,000 local people and collected 20,790 units of blood.

Since its inception in 2013, the campaign has gathered nearly 80,000 units of blood. -VNA