Outstanding blood donors receive medals and certificates at a ceremony in HCM City on May 31 (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - A total of 811 individuals and organisations in Ho Chi Minh City were honoured at a conference on May 31 for donating blood and contributing to the city’s voluntary blood donation movement.

Of them, 71 individuals donated blood 40 times and 178 others donated 30 times.

Seventeen organisations were presented blood donation medals by the Vietnam Red Cross.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the city Department of Health, said the number of voluntary donors had been increasing in recent years, helping save thousands of lives.

He called on organisations and individuals to participate in voluntary blood donation campaigns.

Nguyen Hoang An, deputy chairman of the HCM City chapter of the Red Cross, said the city received more than 273,490 units of blood from voluntary donors last year, which was 94.8 percent of the target.

The city held 30 training courses for 2,730 volunteers at 24 district voluntary blood donation centres, two universities and the Humanitarian Blood Donation Centre.

This year the city is looking to get 260,000 units of blood from donors.

To achieve the goal of increasing the blood donation rate, the city plans to enhance publicity to raise community awareness of the benefits of voluntary blood donation and safe blood transfusion.

It seeks to sustain the number of repeat donors and increase the number of people donating blood, especially youths.

At least 30 percent of government workers, Youth Union members and students, adding up to around 80,000 people, are expected to give blood.

The city's 60,000 medical workers are also encouraged to participate in blood donation campaigns.

Annual campaigns like Red Spring Festival and Red Blood in Summer, and others run to mark Voluntary Blood Donation Day (April 7) and the World Blood Donor Day (June 14) are organised throughout the year.

Around 61,700 units were collected from donors in the first quarter of this year.-VNA