UAE residents eager to give blood for soldiers injured in Yemen

Members of the public rushed to blood banks to donate blood for the injured soldiers and some were turned away as the required amounts were collected.

Donors wait to play their part by donating blood at Latifa Hospital in Zabeel on Friday. Antonie Robertson / The National
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ABU DHABI // The call for blood donations to help soldiers injured the Yemen rocket attack has been met with an enthusiastic response.

Large lines formed at blood banks across the UAE over the weekend and, in some cases, donors had to be turned away because enough blood had been collected.

An official at the main blood bank in Abu Dhabi said enough A, B and O positive blood had been donated, but supplies were still short of negative blood types.

In Fujairah, officials said 62 donors of various nationalities had responded to the drive.

Jamila Khamis, head of the blood bank at Fujairah Hospital said: “People came from all over Fujairah to take part in the blood donation campaign and there were many registered participants.”

Many young Emiratis donated blood as soon as they heard of the emergency. Saif Mohammed, 27, received a message on WhatsApp urging residents to donate blood.

“I called my friends and we went in a group. I was told it was an emergency and didn’t hesitate,” Mr Mohammed said.

“It feels good to know you’re capable of helping someone in need and can possibly save someone’s life.”

Salem, 27, also Emirati, said he was touched to see groups of people at the blood bank in the capital as soon as the call was made.

“People kept coming in until late at night and it was great seeing everyone, nationals as well as expatriates, who came to donate blood for those in need,” he said.

“We don’t know what the conditions were that triggered the emergency, but we still went and tried to assist.”

Salem said this was the first time he had donated blood, but would not be his last.

Abdullah Al Mazrouei, 33, an entrepreneur, went to Zayed Military Hospital to donate on Friday night but had to wait for hours.

He left and later donated blood at a centre near Al Wahda Mall.

“This is the least people in the UAE can do for our injured heroes,” Mr Al Mazrouei said.

People can continue to donate today. Abu Dhabi Blood Bank will be open from 7am to 9.30pm.