Donate blood,save lives

Health Watch

By LULU MARK
THE satisfaction of knowing that he has helped someone in need of blood at the hospital drives Fietcher Bubuae Morocco to keep on donating blood over the years.
Morocco, 59, of Cloudy-Bay in Abau, Central, has donated blood 104 times and plans to continue.
The first time he donated blood was in 1978 when he was 15 and in grade nine at Iowari High School in Sogeri.
“The head teacher used to tell students to help others,” he recalled.
Morocco never forgot that advice.
“In those days, the Red Cross used to go around to collect blood.
“My elder brother who was in grade 10, donated blood and was given a Scotch Finger biscuit.
“For a kid from the village, it was no ordinary biscuit.
“I wanted it too so I asked if I could donate blood.”
“The date was April 4, 1978,
“The following year, I donated blood only once in November”.
“Late in 1981, when I was working with the Department of Foreign Affairs as a passport officer, my head of department (the late Sir Paulus Matane) noticed me donating blood.
“He encouraged me to continue doing that.
“He said PNG was a country where people helped one another.
“I have had so many people help me and I may not be able to help them individually when they are in need, but donating blood to help others is a great way to reciprocate the help I received.”
In 1980, he met Julius from Manus, who would become his foster father.
Julius asked him: “Apart from working and playing soccer, what do you do for the community?”
Morocco showed him his blood donation card.
“This is what I do for the community. I donate blood.”
His biological father passed away in 1994 and Julius passed away in 2016.
That year (2016), Morocco could not donate blood because he was experiencing high blood pressure. He resumed donating blood in 2017.
In 2011, he met Dr Merrilyn Mathias, now the Health Department’s manager of national blood services, and joined the blood donation awareness programme.
“One blood bag can save three lives,” Morocco said.
“I encourage others to go to the hospital near you and donate. Before donating, a medical check is conducted and is a free way to know your health status.”
He was part of the World Blood Donor Day celebration hosted by the City Pharmacy Ltd (CPL) Group and Health Department’s National Blood Service on Tuesday.

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