Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Please give often!
2017-06-15 11:16:00

Beijing had a mere 1,800 blood donors twenty years ago, but now the number is nearly 400,000 per year.

A lot of them give blood on a regular basis. University student Xiao Chunyu is a frequent visitor at the Xidan blood center in downtown Beijing. "It has become a habit. I just want to support public health programs. I don't have a specific reason. There are many who are willing to donate blood, yet not everyone is happy to do so. They still have some misunderstandings towards unpaid blood donation."

Blood donors at the Xidan Blood Center in Beijing. /CGTN Photo

"I used to think donating blood might cause some health problems. But I felt relieved after the staff explained to me. If our physical conditions allow, blood giving will help others without harming our own health. It's a noble deed," said Xue Jinxiang. Encouraged by her husband, she rolled up her sleeve to give blood for the first time.

Staff working at the Xidan blood center told CGTN that they receive around 30 blood donors every day, but this still falls short of the ever increasing demand for blood. And it gets worse in emergency situations.

Doctor Hou Ruiqin works at the Blood Transfusion Department in People’s Hospital of Peking University. "We sometimes face inadequate blood supplies for emergency health care. Apart from implementing our emergency response system, we would organize doctors and nurses to give blood on a voluntary basis. Every year more than 150 staff donate blood."

But calling on hospital staff to give is simply not enough to deal with blood shortages.

Data released from Beijing Red Cross Blood Center indicates that the blood donation rate in Beijing has reached 1.82 percent, ranking first among all cities in the country.

But this figure for China has just passed 1 percent. This was well below the median blood donation rate in high-income countries, 3.21 donations per 100 people, and 1.49 donations per 100 people in upper-middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.

That means China can only meet the most basic requirements for blood, putting a lot of lives in urgent need for the essential fluid.

Source: CGTN Editor: Hiram