Students donate blood in HCM City. (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Ho Chi Minh City’s Blood Bank, Blood Donation Centre and hospitals have organised blood donation programmes throughout the city for Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday to prepare for a possible shortage as more accidents occur during the period.

Donations are expected to decline during the period as students, who are the main blood donors, and other residents who return to their hometowns during Tet will not be available.

Dr Tran Thi Nhu To, head of the Blood Donation Centre of HCM City, told Vietnam News Agency that several health facilities in the city lacked blood for treatment but there was not a severe shortage of blood last year.

The city’s Blood Bank, which is in charge of supply and regulating units of blood for all hospitals in the city, needs more blood for storage, according to To.

The city has called on state officials and students to donate blood until February 13, To said.

The centre aims to collect 14,000 to 16,000 units of blood. Of these, 8,000 to 12,000 units will be sent to the city’s Blood Bank, To said.

At Cho Ray Hospital’s blood transfusion centre, which is the fourth largest in the country, its staff are busy testing all the blood collected from the five provinces in the southeastern region.

Dr Le Hoang Oanh, the centre’s deputy head, said there has been a shortage of blood types A and O for some time.

The centre aims to collect more than 16,000 units of blood to produce other products for emergency aid and treatment at Cho Ray Hospital and 35 other hospitals in five southeastern provinces.

If it cannot reach the target, it will ask for help from blood centres in Can Tho, Khanh Hoa province’s Nha Trang city and Binh Duong province.

Staff at HCM City Hospital of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, where the city Blood Bank is located, will cooperate with organisations and universities in the city to organise many blood donation programmes.

Dr Phu Chi Dung, the hospital’s head, said that to ensure blood storage for all 100 hospitals and health clinics in the city and neighbouring provinces, the hospital has organised frequent blood donation programmes.

It has also set up satellite centres to receive blood donations at the city’s gates, Dung said, adding that a bank for rare blood types has been set up at the hospital.

The Blood Bank needs at least 8,000 to 12,000 units of blood for storage during Tet holidays, he added.

Over the last several weeks, students at universities have been donating blood in response to the need.

Huynh Quynh Nhu, a new graduate of HCM City University of Foreign Languages-Information Technology, said that she has blood type O and is ready to donate many times.

On January 16, she donated blood at the launch ceremony of a community-based programme called Nha Sach Don Tet (Cleaning House to Welcome Tet) to raise funds for Lunar New Year charity activities, organised by the honorary South African Consul in HCM City.

Under the Red Sunday Programme in HCM City, which lasts from January 2 to 21, up to 15,152 blood units from many students were collected.

The programme was held by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, the National Traffic Safety Committee, Tien Phong (Vanguard) Newspaper and others.-VNA