Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF)recently hosted a blood donation drive to encourage QF staff members and students to give blood. The campaign was jointly organised with the Blood Donation Unit of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and held in the Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) building at Education City.
The blood donation drive is part of a multifaceted plan developed by Qatar Foundation to address vital health and safety issues in Qatar, and is one of many on-going collaborations with other significant national institutions. Previous collaborations include last year’s Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness month that QF jointly organised with the Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar Cancer Society and Al Amal Hospital. As one of the highest forms of humanitarian services, voluntarily blood donation can play a vital role in saving someone’s life. There are also potential health benefits for the donor, as it can reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancer. Therefore, the campaign is part of QF’s mission to address immediate social needs which, in-turn, is helping to sustain a prosperous society, as outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
This year marked the second time the drive was held and Rodha Al-Saadi, Community Services Supervisor at the Qatar Foundation Support Services Directorate, explained the importance of the campaign:“The aim of this drive is to help save lives, as well as restock the nation’s blood bank. We also want to encourage people to become more involved in the community.Last year, 106 people registered, and Hamad Medical Corporation was able to collect 45 units of blood.”
This year, the campaign proved even more successful with an incredible 148 people registering to participate with HMC able to collect 49 units of blood. Additionally, informative posters and leaflets were distributed to educate participants about the advantages of giving blood. Sheikha Haya Al Waleed Al Thani, an 18-year-old Qatari student, gave blood for the first time. “I have just turned 18. And ever since I was a young girl, I have wanted to help people. So that is why I am donating blood today,” said Haya. “I am not surprised that Qatar Foundation is hosting this blood drive, as it is always looking to find ways to help people, and to give back to the community.”
Another student, Mariam Hussain, who donated blood for the first time, added: “I have always wanted to give blood, and now QF has given me the opportunity to do so. I think it is important to donate as my blood type is O+, and I can give blood to anyone. We should try and help others who are in need. It would be good if all the students donated.” Dr Hind Al-Khayat, a Senior Research Scientist at Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre, also took part in the drive. “I am donating blood today because I want to save lives, and it is very rewarding,” she said.“I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle as not only is it good for me but it is also good for the people who I am donating blood to.”