Campaign held to deal with blood shortage at year’s end hinh anh 1University students donate blood at the event in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A blood donation festival officially kicked off in Hanoi on November 13 in an effort to address a shortage of blood for medical uses at year's end.

The festival is an annual activity held by the Vietnam Red Cross Society and Prudential Vietnam company within the framework of the humanitarian voluntary blood donation programme, according to Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Red Cross Society Doan Van Thai.

This year’s event lasting from November 6 to December 20 in Hanoi and 16 other provinces and cities nationwide hopes to collect 7,000 blood units. Nearly 2,100 blood units have been donated so far.

Organisers hoped to receive at least 400 blood units at the event in Hanoi.

In 2015, more than 1.3 million blood units were donated in Vietnam, helping with the treatment for hundreds of thousands of patients.

Although the volume of donated blood has continually increased in recent years, it has met about 70 percent of treatment needs. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation estimates the country needs some 1.8 million blood units every year.

The shortage of blood usually surges in the Lunar New Year festival and the summer.-VNA