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Forum saving lives with blood donations camps


(MENAFN - Gulf Times) When it comes to patient-care, one major aspect which technology has yet to duplicate is blood formation.
However, a group of expatriates has stepped in to make a difference to patients' lives.
Under the aegis of Blood Donors Kerala-Qatar, the group has been organising blood donation camps and raising awareness across the country in co-ordination with authorities concerned.
Since its inception in 2013, the group has saved thousands of lives by providing blood.
It was in 2013 when Kerala expatriate Shaji Vettukkattil discussed with friends the formation of a collective where needy people can access blood easily.
“We were inspired by the activities of Blood Donors Kerala and other communities across the world who were donating blood and raising awareness about the cause. The discussion ended up with the forming of a Whatsapp group of blood donors," Vettukkattil, one of the founding members and current president of the organisation, recalled.
Thus began the start of the forum in Qatar and there has been looking back since, he said.
“Till 2018, Blood Donors Kerala- Qatar organised camps once every three months. We kept growing and the camps soon became a monthly affair," said vice president Sabin Sabu.
The camps are held in co-ordination with Blood Donor Centre of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) with the latter looking after the technical requirements.
“Usually we take a 15-day break after each camp. Then within next two weeks, we publish posters, reach out to donors and ensure optimum facilities are available for the camp," media head Vivek Nair revealed.
An annual plan is submitted to the HMC and the team starts work after its approval by the HMC Blood Donor Centre.
Nurses and technical staff are sent by HMC while volunteers work as translators.
Each camp is attended by around 100 donors on an average.
The activities are co-ordinated by secretary Krishna Kumar, joint secretary Riyaz Jabbar and a team of special executives - Shinob, Sumesh, Junaid, Prasith, Kiran, Mohamed, Sharafudheen, Ranjith and Roopesh.
Public and private entities including businesses and hospitals help the organisation meet various requirements.
The data of 3,000 donors have so far been handed over to HMC. The organisation has a team of 250 volunteers working across Qatar to ensure blood donors are available as per the need.“When there is a demand for blood, especially of rare groups, we try to arrange for it as quickly as possible," Sabin said.
The group has been able to help authorities with blood donations during the Covid-19 pandemic .“The pandemic has not stopped us from extending help," Vettukkattil stressed.
The organisation also made 200 plasma donors available for the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) at HMC to treat Covid-19 patients.
Spread over GCC and various states of India, Blood Donors Kerala has a huge network of donors. Data is shared and donors contacted whenever the need for rare blood groups arise.
The organisers recalled an incident where a Doha expat even travelled to Kuwait to donate blood to a patient hailing from Mumbai who was in need of blood.
The organisation is affiliated to Indian Community Benevolent Forum (ICBF) which functions under the embassy of India.
The functionaries said assistance from community organisations in Qatar has been forthcoming whenever needed.
The organisation is now working to draw more people towards the humanitarian cause.    

Last updated: July 22 2021 08:34 PM

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