HEROES: Recognising blood donors will inspire the young
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has created a new slogan for blood donation this year: "A blood donor is a hero". Unfortunately, the Blood Donors Day on June 14 came and went without the Health Ministry and the National Blood Centre (NBC) doing anything with it.
The slogan remains a mere slogan.
The ministry and NBC do not seem to know what they can do with that day, other than hanging up banners to remind donors they are heroes.
I like to joke with some of the blood centre workers that "those who do not donate blood, but receive it, are crooks".
This could be a fact.
There are some Malaysians who have been donating blood all their lives.
They are not allowed to donate when they reach 60.
At this stage, they would have donated more than 400 times.
But the public do not know who they are.
The ministry and the NBC do not highlight them.
They are the real heroes, who have given their blood relentlessly, without force, to strangers.
Many lives are saved in surgeries, but they do not know whose blood they had been given.
It is not that regular blood donors wish to make a big deal of their deed, but isn't this is what WHO had wanted to do when they created the slogan?
I would like to propose that the ministry and the blood centre produce a documentary to highlight those who have donated blood the most in Malaysia, so that they can become an inspiration to the young who can be be compelled and motivated to donate blood, too.
It is also unkind of the ministry and blood centre to stop offering free medical services to blood donors 10 years after the last time they donated blood, since it would mean that they can take advantage of this service only up to the age of 70.
Isn't this mean? They are now without such a benefit when they may be most in need of such a service.
This can also be taken to mean that the ministry and the blood centre, which had changed the benefits previously available to the donors for life, are indirectly saying that now that they do not donate blood, they can suffer and die if they are sick.
It is also demeaning if the blood centre wants to highlight only their doctors by showing slide shows and other clips to students to educate them on the virtues of donating blood.
This can only mean that they want to take credit for the donation of blood by the scores of donors, when what they should be doing is to highlight those who regularly donate blood so that potential donors can get inspiration from them.
I notice that those who have donated blood the most in Malaysia are from different racial, religious, social and cultural backgrounds.
They come to the blood centre and donate blood and then leave, without feeling proud that they are doing this deed.
But does this mean that they do not deserve some recognition?
Mansor Puteh, Cheras, Selangor