Browsing 'blood donation' News

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This Ramadan, health and charity officials in Qatar are urging residents to be their “noblest” selves by giving blood and signing up to be organ donors.

The public health campaigns are being led by Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) and the Al Faisal Without Borders Foundation.

Both the Ramadan Voluntary Blood Donation campaign and the National Organ Donation campaign are in their fifth year.

In a statement, Ali Al Khater, HMC’s chief communications officer, said:

“Donating blood or registering as an organ donor is among the noblest of acts, and we thank everyone who has supported these campaigns so far and hope that others are inspired to give the gift of life and donate.”

Organ donation

This month, officials from Qatar’s National Organ Donation campaign have set up booths in more than a dozen shopping malls and other prominent locations around the country.

The number of registered organ donors in Qatar has more than doubled in recent years, jumping from around 20,000 individuals in 2012 to some 43,000 people by 2014.

Last year, the registry swelled to more than 100,000 individuals. Officials are now aiming to have a list of 150,000 people, Gulf Times reports.

The booths are staffed with experts who are speaking to members of the public about the importance of organ donation and answering any questions they might have.

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Organ Donation Research Consortium

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Signing up to be an organ donor takes only a couple of minutes and volunteers can now hand you an organ donor card on the spot.

Historically, the overwhelming majority of donors in Qatar have been expats because many Qataris questioned whether the practice was culturally and Islamically acceptable, HMC officials said in 2012.

However, the health care institution said that multiple scholars have asserted that organ donation is considered a high act of charity under Islam – provided that giving does not harm the donor, and that the organ is not sold, only donated.

In a high-profile boost to the donation campaign, former first lady Sheikha Moza signed up to be an organ donor in 2012.

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser registers as a donor.

Supplied

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser registers as a donor.

At the time, she said the move was, in part, one way to help the country become more self-sufficient.

While some patients who cannot find a donor in Qatar travel abroad for treatment, doctors have said this practice can be dangerous.

Patients often are not given medical notes, which makes it more difficult for doctors in Qatar to follow up on any issues.

Meeting demand

Meanwhile, though Qatar can mostly meet its blood supply needs, HMC occasionally finds itself in urgent need of donations of certain blood types.

During Ramadan, the main blood donor center at Hamad General Hospital – located next to the Consultative Council – is open Sunday to Thursday, 8am to 1pm and 6pm to midnight. It’s closed Fridays and open from 6pm to midnight on Saturdays. Call 44391081 for more information.

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Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels

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Additionally, mobile blood donor units are being dispatched to different areas around the country, but it is not clear where they will be located.

Donors in Qatar have previously said that they found the process of giving blood to be a relatively easy and painless process.

Are you registered to be an organ donor and/or given blood in Qatar? Thoughts?

Over the past few days, Hamad Hospital has asked residents on social media for urgent donations of O+ blood. Such appeals are common in Qatar, where demand always seems to outpace supply. To take some of the mystery out of donating, British expat Brian Candy, who visited Hamad last week, shares what it was like to give blood for the first time in Qatar.

I was watching tweets going up my screen calling out for O positive blood. I did not hesitate, calling the number given in the tweets to get directions, and jumped in my car to head to Hamad.

On arrival, I found parking very easily, and a nice security guard was able to point out where to go. Once inside, reception took my details, and within just a couple of minutes I was sitting in an interview room answering some simple questions about my suitability.

Then I was sent off to another little room where I had a drop of blood taken from my finger. This was to test for something (I can’t remember what). I was then offered refreshments while I took a seat in the waiting area, and a couple of minutes later I was sat in a chair, and plumbed in.

Like a scratch

It didn’t hurt. Well a little scratch, but to be honest it was nothing. Once they had a line in me, there was zero discomfort and I was in a nice comfortable chair, so was quite happy to sit there for what seemed like about 10 minutes.

There is plenty of drink, and there are sandwiches to eat when you are done. They like you to sit down and take some refreshments after you have donated.

From start to finish, I was treated courteously. But then you would expect that. What I did not expect was the genuine gratitude that was extended to me by all. Seriously, it was like the blood was for them personally.

One day it could be you, me or someone we love in desperate need of that blood. Why wait for Hamad to reach out in desperation before giving. Take a little time out of your schedule when you can, and at your convenience pop along and give these guys what they need.


Reached by phone, a staff member at the HMC Blood Donor Center told Doha News that walk-ins are accepted, as long as prospective donors come with their Qatar ID cards.

The center is located directly across from the entrance to Hamad General Hospital, opposite the multi-story carpark.

If you’re declared fit (and haven’t traveled to certain restricted countries within six months) you can give blood immediately, she said. The staffer added that the current O+ shortage had been caused by a high demand for supplies, and not enough donors coming forward.

For more information, see this fact sheet on blood donation:

The center can be contacted at +974 44391081. Opening hours are 7am to 9pm from Saturday to Thursday.

Thoughts?

The Blood Donor Unit at Hamad Medical Corp. has said it is running “extremely low on supplies of Type O blood and urgently needs donations to meet demand.”

Anyone who is able to give blood can visit the unit, located on the hospital grounds, between 7am and 9pm daily.

Call 4439 1081 for more information.

Photo by European Parliament