The mere mention of blood donation can produce images of pain and needles for some youth.
“Mainly we fear pain. No matter how little or fleeting it get”, said 19-year-old Neo Ming Yu, a PU3 student from Millennia Institute.
Well, this could well be a myth.
In Asia, Bangkok youths gathered for the first time in South East Asia’s inaugural youth blood donor workshop in 2006, hosted by the Thai Red Cross Society’s National Blood Centre and the International Federation. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, providing assistance irregardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
Singapore youths are also making a difference in blood donation. The Youth Donor Club (YDC) is a club set up by the Singapore Red Cross for young Singaporeans between the age of 16 and 25. These youths are empowered to make a difference in the lives of the people by spreading the message of giving blood to their friends and peers. Even 16 and 17-year-olds can donate blood as long as their parents give consent to the club.
Singapore celebrated the annual World Blood Donor Day [WBDD] on 14 June 2009 last weekend and more than 1,600 blood donors were honoured. This is encouraging for the Singapore Red Cross Society as it aims to increase the number of blood donors in Singapore to 80,000 in 2010. In Singapore, only 1 per cent or 40,000 people are active blood donors.
With around 90,000 units of blood needed to treat the ill and injured in Singapore every year, the youth can certainly do their part to help.
The next blood donation drive will be on 20 June 2009 at the Riverwalk.
So why wait? If you are eligible and eager to make a difference in someone’s lives, be a blood donor today!