A nationwide donation campaign called “Red Journey” has collected nearly 48,000 units of blood, far exceeding the initial target, the organiser announced at a review conference in Hanoi on July 27.

The annual drive, the second of its kind, saw 120 volunteers go on a trip through 25 cities and provinces to encourage locals to donate blood and raise public awareness of thalassaemia – a genetic blood disorder that can lead to heart failure and liver problems, said Director of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion Nguyen Anh Tri.

The campaign was launched in the southern province of Kien Giang on July 3, and at each stop, the volunteers organized blood donation events, attracting a large number of participants.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vietnam needs nearly 2 million units of blood each year. About 7 percent of the world population have thalassaemia gene, with Vietnam among the high-risk areas. The country records more than 20,000 patients with the disease on an annual basis.

Last year, the Red Journey drew over 100 volunteers travelling to 15 cities and provinces, collecting more than 13,000 blood units.-VNA