By Yien Gattuor
At least 80 people from Unity State’s Bentiu IDP camp donated blood at the secondary health care hospital in the settlement, last week.
The blood donation drive was launched as South Sudan joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Blood Donor Day under the theme “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”
World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 14 every year to raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and to thank blood donors worldwide.
It aims to promote voluntary, safe, and regular blood donations to ensure a sufficient supply of blood for those in need.
The day also highlights the critical role of blood donors in saving lives and encourages more people to become regular blood donors.
Meanwhile, in Unity State, Bentiu, the day was celebrated with the donation of blood and the sharing of testimonies from regular blood donors and recipients.
Speaking to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Thursday, the director general of the Ministry of Health in Unity State, Dr. Duol Biem, said, “We are doing enough awareness campaigns about donating blood.”
“Lots of people have come to donate blood at two hospitals, Bentiu Hospital and Bentiu Internally Displaced Person’s Hospital, which lack blood for transfusion,” Biem continued.
The state health official said he accepts that “that challenge is to all of us in the health sector—partners, donors, and everybody in the health sector”.
Mr. Biem also appealed to the community to continue doing the same work and donate blood to those lacking it. “That’s the only way we can help our people donate blood”.
The health director reiterated that it was very crucial to improve the blood transfusion facilities across Unity State.
“Sometimes health staff works for the interest of saving lives of people; sometimes they are called beyond their working time on emergencies, and they turn into beggars for people to donate blood,” Biem said.
Biem commended those who donate blood to secondary health care hospitals under MSF Holland.
For her part, Charity Kamu, MSF project coordinator in Unity State’s Bentiu IDP camp hospital, told this outlet that the demand for blood donation is high.
She underscored that blood donation is helpful to the community for those who are lacking blood.
The population of Bentiu IDP was recently estimated at 140,000, and only 80 people donated blood during World Blood Donor Day.
This is not the first time such blood donation campaigns have been held in Bentiu. It started way back in 2016 when there was a shortage of blood at Bentiu IDP Camp Hospital.
Meanwhile, Kai Mead Makuei, one of the blood donors, said in a Friday interview that he donates blood to people in need.
He stated that the community needs blood assistance for those who are in hospitals because they are anemic.
“I will continue to donate blood to my community who are suffering in Bentiu IDP hospital recently; that’s the only reason why I donate blood to the hospital”.
Kai is appealing to community members to continue donating blood to secondary healthcare hospitals to help the community as needed.