Thousands of young people donated blood on January 12 in 10 provinces and cities throughout the country as part of the 6th Red Sunday programme.

The annual blood donation event was jointly organised by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) and the Tien Phong (Vanguard) Newspaper.

"Each drop of blood has been donated to relieve pain, dangerous diseases and revive patients' lives," said Le Xuan Son, newspaper editor-in-chief, at the opening ceremony at Thuong mai (Trade) University in Hanoi.

Son noted that some 3,000 units of blood were collected in northern Hai Phong city, and Nam Dinh and Thai Nguyen provinces from January 9 to11. The amount of blood donated during the week-long event is expected to be greater than the 5,000-6,000 units that organisation officials originally anticipated to be collected.

Dao Phuong Linh, a blood disease patient in the NIHBT, expected that the campaign would be expanded in order to collect more donated blood to treat thousands of patients, such as herself, throughout the country.

Attending the event in central Da Nang city, Nguyen Nhat Khanh, a 25-year-old youth staff member of Binh Thuan Ward, Hai Chau District, donated blood for the 31st time over the past 10 years.

"My mother always tells me to become involved in charity or social activities to help the vulnerable and the poor," Khanh said, as quoted in Tien Phong Newspaper.

Khanh added that he has much experience in blood donations. And through the experience, he felt joy at being able to help needy people, especially those experiencing difficulties.

NIHBT Director Nguyen Anh Tri said the annual blood drive was seen as an effective measure in coping with blood shortages and rising demand in hospitals during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival. The longest annual festival often sees the absence of blood donors who return home for the traditional family reunion and increasing traffic accidents as a result of drink driving.

Tri added that the NIHBT, which supplies blood to 120 hospitals in 16 northern provinces, met 30-50 percent of hospitals' demands for during recent weeks.-VNA