By TONY PALME
A REGULAR blood donor and a blood bank worker says giving blood to save lives also meant health benefits of a kind for the donor.
Charles Arowa, in his 30s and from Baiyer, Western Highlands, and Sani Tama Afane, officer in-charge of the blood bank at the Mt Hagen General Hospital, said donating blood was caring for the precious gift of life.
Arowa said he did not know why he gave blood regularly but it was for the excitement of it since he was very young.
“People usually ask me to donate them blood because they know that I am a regular donor,” he said.
“My blood type is O and doctors told me that my blood is universal, meaning I can donate to anyone.
“Now I realise that my willingness in giving blood has saved the lives of some women and old men.
“Today, I am here to donate my blood to one of my brothers in the emergency ward.”
Afane thanked voluntary donors in Western Highlands.
“There are more than 6000 voluntary donors in Western Highlands from our records,” Afane said.
“That number is one of the highest in the country because there are risks involved when donating blood.
“At the blood bank, we need 300 bags a day but we can’t ask everybody to donate.
“We are under-staffed, only three of us work here. Next year we’ll have adequate staffing.”
Afane reiterated that a donor could give blood every three to six months.
“A bag of blood expires after a month so new blood is needed to run normal operations in the accident and emergency ward and to donate to patients in critical or desperate situations.”
Donors can check their results every Thursday and Friday which can confirm if they have HIV, syphilis or Hepatitis B, three major diseases found in the blood in this country.
By TONY PALME