Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DON’T THE TOP BLOOD DONORS OF MALAYSIA ALSO COUNT AS NATIONAL HEROES? – PART I.

By Mansor Puteh



Blood donation is not exactly a sport. One does not donate blood to win awards or recognition. But don’t the top blood donors of Malaysia also count?

Even the Guinness Book of World Records has an entry on the top blood donor of the world. But there is no mention on the top blood donor of Malaysia in the Malaysia Book of Records.

Too bad that the Malaysia Book of Records people are not aware of this ‘feat’, because they were busy looking elsewhere at some of the more outrageous and media attractive events to take note of.

Athletes and other high-achievers including those in the entertainment industry are better, in that whatever they achieve and even do is given the right amount of media support and coverage, and encouragement from the authorities and public sector.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared ‘Blood donors are Heroes!’ Yet, WHO has neglected to take the act beyond to the next level.

In this regard, is it also not fair for many Malaysians to ask, who are the real ‘Heroes’ of blood donation of the country?

There are some 80,000 Malaysians who donate blood which comprises of about a mere 0.003 percent of the population of the country, many of whom do so regularly, and the number is increasing with the soft campaigning conducted by the National Blood Center and Ministry of Health causing more and more people from those in secondary school to be more aware of the benefits of blood donation.

It is therefore so amazing how so few people in a country with an estimated population of 26 million could be supplying blood to so many, all of whom have never actually given any due recognition or thanks to them?

Maybe they are taking for granted with the blood that is constantly flowing in their own bodies to sustain their health that allows them to pursue their own personal and life’s goals, to realize that later on in their lives, it will be the blood of others who could help to further sustain the last few weeks, months or years of their lives before they give up on living altogether, irregardless of at what level of society they may be at. 

Unfortunately, Malaysian television is slow in using blood donating as the main or even a subplot in any of their programs, especially dramas and documentaries.

Ironically, many local television dramas prefer to show acts which do encourage the spilling of blood in cruel and senseless action dramas without the producers and television stations not realizing the negative implications on society.

And of course I had not seen any of those officers in the many charitable, social and even cultural and artistic organizations who like to preach acts of charity and decorum in society and a refined lifestyle and taste and the humanity they often like to show in their works, coming to donate blood in all the years I have been doing that.

It is therefore easier for anyone to claim to be humane and charitable and compassionate and kind, but it is not so, to translate it into action.


I have also not seen any religious preacher of all religious affiliation donating blood.

Yet, they are the ones who like to preach to the others about the virtues of helping society and strangers, yet, they have found it not convenient to actually do what they like to preach about.

Some of them only prefer to register themselves to be organ donors, but unfortunately, this act only amounts to one having to sign a declaration and getting a certificate to say that he is an organ donor.

Compared to the regular blood donors who have to either take the bus, train and drive to the blood center every two weeks, and go through the process of donation which takes from twenty minutes to two hours including waiting time, and not including travel and personal time. 

The blood donors would go to the National Blood Center or Pusat Darah Negara in Jalan Temerloh off Jalan Tun Razak every two weeks for years. Some do so every three months.

Many donate blood irregularly because their work schedule does not allow them to do so often unlike some others who make it a point to donate blood and their daily activities are around this.

So over the last many years, we now have people who have already donate blood from 300 to 500 times or more.

Some of them have stopped donating blood when they reach the age of 60 or if they choose to go on donating blood, they can do so till the age of 65.

But they have to undergo some medical tests and if they are found to be healthy, they are allowed to donate for five more years, during which time they can donate another 100 times.


1 comment:

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