More than 2,800 units of blood have been collected thanks to a nationwide donation campaign called “Red Journey”, according to Director of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion Nguyen Anh Tri.

Participants have toured five out the 25 cities and provinces, namely Kien Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City, before travelling to Central Highland and central localities on the afternoon of July 8, encouraging locals to join the drive.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien highlighted the charitable activity as a great help to save many lives, especially those with thalassaemia - a genetic blood disorder which can lead to heart failure and liver problems.

The annual campaign was launched in the southern province of Kien Giang on July 3 with the aim of collecting at least 19,000 units of blood.

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