KUWAIT: A blood drive organized by the Ahmadi governorate on Friday broke the record for the number of blood bags donated in the governorate’s history, officials said. Citizens and expats donated what amounts to 161 blood bags in the campaign held under the patronage and presence of Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Fawaz Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at Al-Kout Mall in Fahaheel. The campaign, which coincided with World blood Donation Day, had a major turnout, continuing for seven hours, said Sheikh Fawaz.
Assistant Undersecretary for Allied Medical Services Affairs at the Health Ministry Dr Yaqoub Al-Tammar told reporters he was pleased with the turnout, confirming his support for such activities especially before summer break. He added that Kuwait’s strategic blood reserves are in good shape for now. The campaign comes about a month after the Ministry of Health made the controversial decision to charge expats for blood transfusions. Health Minister Ahmad Al-Awadhi justified the move as a measure to preserve the state’s strategic blood reserves and will contribute significantly to the rationalization of blood transfusion services and derivatives based on medical priority.
According to the new policy, expatriates residing in Kuwait will be charged KD 20 per bag of blood, while those on visit visas will be charged KD 40 per bag. Patients who provide their own blood donors, emergency cases, cancer patients, children and other humanitarian situations are exempt. The decision drew the ire of many citizens and expats who took to social media to say they will refrain from donating blood in the future.
Multi-sector cooperation Speaking to media, Sheikh Fawaz thanked all those who contributed to organizing the campaign and all those who donated blood, whether citizens or expats, and to the campaign partners including the health ministry with its Blood Transfer Services Directorate, Medical Emergencies, Burqan Bank, Tamdeen Group and Al-Kout Mall management. He also thanked the media and governorate volunteers.
Director General of Tamdeen Group Muath Al-Roumi said participation of Al-Kout Mall in the campaign for the second consecutive year is out of the group’s belief in the importance of social responsibility. The drive, he added, fulfills the importance of cooperation and integration of goals between the public and private sectors as well as NGOs through organizing activities and programs that achieve the goals of sustainable development within Kuwait society.
Senior Manager of Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility at Burqan bank Hessa Al-Najada said: “we are proud for sponsoring the blood donation campaign and the success it achieved in cooperation with Ahmadi Governorate and health ministry, adding that this indicated the bank’s active role in the society and our commitment to supporting the health system in Kuwait to guarantee sufficient supplies of blood and its derivatives.