Staff of C.P. Group in Vietnam (in pink shirts) donate blood during the annual national Red Journey campaign in HCM City. (Photo: Courtesy of VTV- Corp)

HCM City (VNA) – HCM City is experiencing an ongoing shortage of blood for transfusions due to a lack of donors.

Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy, Deputy Chairwoman of the Vietnam Red Cross in HCM City’s Go Vap District, is urging companies with a large number of workers to schedule voluntary blood donation programmes.

Speaking at a workshop late last week to review voluntary blood donation activities this year, she said: “It took many years to make them agree. They are afraid the donation could affect their manufacturing. 

“So, to date, only a few companies have agreed. We have to pay attention to how to arrange things to ensure the workers work after donating blood.”

That is one reason why she and her colleagues do not encourage workers to donate more than 250 millilitres of blood at a time.

The workers helped her district exceed the target set by the city’s Humanitarian Blood Donation Centre, she said.

Nearly 7,000 people donated blood while the target for the first eight months was 6,100, she added.

Unlike Go Vap District, many other districts such as 6, Tan Phu and Binh Tan, have not achieved their target this year.

Dr Tran Thi Nhu To, head of the centre, said only 11,000 people have registered this month for blood donations at the centre, well below the targeted 16,000 donors for the Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital.

To added that since May, the centre has not been able to supply enough blood to the hospital.

According to the hospital, it faced a shortfall of 3,000 units in May and the shortage is continuing, she said. 

To said the centre would focus on encouraging companies in the city to carry out blood donation programmes.

Le Quoc Chinh of the Binh Chanh District’s Red Cross in HCM City said it encourages members of the public to donate blood, but the centre lacks vehicles to transport donated blood, as well as doctors and nurses to manage blood donation programmes. 

The centre should ask the city to buy more vehicles and should send enough doctors and nurses to collect blood, he said.

The centre said it plans to start courses to train its staff in blood donation programmes and first aid.

Last week it launched a website, www.hienmaunhandao.org.vn, to propagate life-saving humanitarian blood donations and publicise the benefits donors stand to get.

It hopes the website will put paid to illegal sales of blood.-VNA