Abu Dhabi gets record number of blood donors in 2013

More Abu Dhabi residents are choosing to donate blood, but officials warn against complacency as demand will continue to increase.

ABU DHABI // Blood donors have been applauded for giving the gift of life.

More donors than ever came forward across the emirate last year, according to latest figures from the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi.

Last year there were 33,059 blood donors across the emirate. The figure rose by 23 per cent from 2012, when 26,819 people donated.

Sultan Al Sammahi, a Federal National Council member from Fujairah and member of the FNC health committee, welcomed the increase in blood donations.

He said it was a direct result of increased awareness stimulated by the leadership, who have regularly donated blood.

“This country is a philanthropic country and its leadership are no strangers to humanitarian work,” he said.

“They are role models for people who, with their encouragement, have been made aware of this important issue.”

In 2011 there were 27,094 donors; in 2010, 25,850 donors; in 2009, 24,758; and in 2008, 21,834.

There were just 19,461 in 2007 and 16,737 in 2006 – when Haad first began keeping records.

Last year 30,315 units of blood were collected, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year, when 26,819 units were collected.

Dr Lalu Chacko, medical director of LLH Hospital Abu Dhabi, said the figures were promising but should not lead to complacency. He said: “We have only one blood bank in Abu Dhabi and this serves the entire city.

“Unless more centres crop up it is going to be a difficult time in the future because the number of surgeries are increasing.

“There are so many facilities opening – big, big facilities that require a lot of blood.

“In the very near future, this one centre might not be enough for the whole of Abu Dhabi.”

Every year Haad releases an annual report, which contains a breakdown of statistics, a capacity master plan, and a healthcare reform plan that identifies the top seven priorities for future health care in the emirate.

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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM