Many people are scared the first time, but there is nothing to be scared of. About 5% of the population donates blood. If 10% of the population would donate, it may be possible to eliminate all blood shortages.
Regular donations of ALL blood types are needed on a daily basis. If you have any doubts about your eligibility to donate, you can discuss them with the Blood Bank staff. Most people who feel they cannot give blood because of a medical condition or medication, are surprised to find out they can safely donate every eight weeks. A healthy individual, weighing at least 110 pounds (50kg), has 10 – 12 pints (5 – 6 litres) of blood in their body. During donation, approximately one pint is given. Body fluids are completely replaced 24 hours after donation.
There is no risk of exposure to the HIV-AIDS virus during blood donation. All needles and equipment are sterile, pre-packaged and disposable. The blood bank is under strict regulation and nothing is ever re-used. Various tests are conducted to ensure your blood is safe for distribution to other people.
If your iron is low (a temporary condition in most cases), you will be provided with an “iron rich” food list to help boost your blood iron levels and be asked to donate at a later date. Eating a good meal and hydrating yourself with caffeine-free drinks, helps to ensure your donation experience is a positive one. Your body will begin to replace the blood you donated immediately. After some cookies and juice, most people resume their regular activities after donating.
One out of five people who enter a hospital will need a blood transfusion. Blood donation is the act of giving life. Although the whole process can take up to an hour of your time, it can provide an entire lifetime for a patient
Blood donation is dependent on the goodwill of people, to voluntarily donate blood, without financial reward. Thanks to the efforts of VHRD and JHC Mbeya, member of the Mbeya Jamat had the opportunity to donate blood and serve the community. The demand for donor blood is increasing, whereas the blood supply is declining. Hence, there is a continuous need for blood donors. Only 5% of the eligible population actually donate blood. This leaves an enormous potential blood donor base, which if tapped into and maintained could lead to an adequate reserve to meet the transfusion needs of this country.