DUBAI // A shortfall in supply at Dubai's Blood Donation Centre is no cause for alarm, says the centre's director.
Dr Laila Al Shaer said the dip is down to seasonal fluctuations.
"We recently experienced a shortfall - which is an obstacle facing all blood banks in the world - and, in Dubai, this shortfall generally occurs after the holiday season and in the summer months."
With blood having a maximum shelf life of 42 days, people should get into the habit of making regular donations, she said.
"We want to educate our community members to regularly donate blood. Blood is a product that cannot be bought or imported. Therefore, the only way [ we can receive it] is through sustained blood donations," Dr Al Shaer said.
Donations at the centre account for half of the blood collected nationwide.
On Wednesday, in response to calls for help, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, gave blood at Latifa Hospital in the emirate.
Taking to his Twitter account, the Ruler asked some of his 636,535 followers to help the centre.
"It is a responsibility for everyone in the community (individuals and organisations) to take part in supporting our blood banks," said the message, which hundreds of people re-tweeted.
The Ruler's surprise visit prompted many to take action, Dr Al Shaer added.
The following afternoon, the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Social Affairs followed suit in a donation drive organised by the Ministry of Health.
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