The American University of Sharjah’s University Health Center successfully held its annual Blood Donation Campaign on Oct. 20-21 in conjunction with the Community Services Division of the Office of Student Affairs and Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center.
The campaign, which took place on a medical truck parked next to the center, attracted more than 100 donors from the community— professors, staff and students alike.
“Every year, we get a request from [Sharjah’s] Ministry of Health blood bank for donations,” explained Dr. Lubna Yousif, the university’s medical services director. “This has been happening from the beginning of the university’s establishment.”
Dr. Yousif also remarked that the university is a perfect place for donations because most students are 18 years old and in healthy condition, both of which are eligibility requirements for blood transfusion in the country.
The donated blood will be used in research, operations, and while treating road traffic victims, said Dr. Yousif. She noted that the O- blood type is mostly needed due to its continuous shortage. This is often the case because it is the only type that can be given to anyone.
“[Donors] might feel a bit dizzy afterward, but blood transfusions are very healthy and encourage the RBC (red blood cells) to proliferate,” advised Dr. Yousif. However, she strongly advised against donating blood if a person travelled recently, has a chronic disease, or takes certain medications.
Upon signing up, donors were required to complete a form that included questions involving general health, hemophilia, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS (HIV), , as well as travel-related inquires. A consent form requiring a signature was also attached along with a few instructions.
“I always wanted to donate blood since I turned 18 and this is my chance to do it,” said Mariam Al Saleh, a finance sophomore at the university, while waiting her turn. “I encourage others to participate because it is [done for] charity and may save a life.”
Nour Al-Ali is an English literature and mass communication double major senior at the American University of Sharjah.