In February 2013, volunteers got together to find a way to help the North Cyprus health service in relation to emergency requests for blood. Their efforts emerged as “Save A Life“, and secured sponsorship from both CreditWest Bank, and Telsim. The scheme also has backing from the Ministry for Health. The idea is for blood donors who wish to help in an emergency do so by SMS, by texting their blood group and nearest hospital to 05428 800 112. This is to donate blood only in the event of an emergency, when for whatever reason, the the hospital supplies cannot cope.
The system operates from one of the three blood transfusion centres in Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta. In an emergency the blood transfusion centres request a certain blood type and Save a Life sends out a text message to those in the database requesting volunteers to go to their nearest hospital to give blood.
Following the launch at the Ministry for Health there are now 100 donors on the database, from all eight blood groups. To date Save a Life have received seven emergency requests for blood, of which six were completed successfully. In the early days the database did not have any AB blood group donors, so Save a Life were unable to respond to some emergency requests. They are now pleased they have donors for all the blood groups. The Save a Life team would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has joined the campaign so far and they would also welcome more donors.
To mark World Blood Donor Day today, 14th June, Telsim will begin to send out text messages requesting others to consider donating blood in an emergency, and “Saving A Life”. If you would like to help, when you receive the text, simply reply stating your blood type and nearest hospital. If you would like to donate, but don’t know your blood group, pop along to one of the BRS blood donor days, or contact one of the hospitals and give blood there. You can then text the Save A Life number 05428 800 112, with your blood group and nearest hospital and you will be added to the growing number of volunteer donors within the Save A Life project.
World Blood Donor Day, now in its 10th year, is an international celebration of the gift of blood and aims to highlight the importance of blood donation as well as the need for safe blood for transfusions. This year France is hosting the global celebrations, with events and street activities in the centre of Paris, with the slogan “Give the gift of life: donate blood”. According to the World Health Organisation, about 92 million blood donations are collected globally every year, with 31% of donors being under 24 and about 30% female, indicating a need for improved age and gender balance.