GIS - 18 December 2014: The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, made an appeal this morning to healthy Mauritians aged 18 to 60 years to donate blood at the annual Mega blood donation, organised by the Blood Donors Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life today at the Esplanade of the Emmanuel Anquetil Building in Port Louis.
The objective of the event is to sensitise and mobilise a maximum number of people to give blood in order to cater for the demand of blood and have enough reserves of blood pints in case of any undesirable incident especially during the months of December and January, which coincide with the end of year festive period.
The Mega Blood Donation, held every year in December since 2002, aims at palliating any shortage of blood and ensuring that an adequate stock is available during the months of December and January when few people donate blood. Some 1,800 pints have thus been collected in the last two years. The donated blood is brought to the National Blood Transfusion Service in Candos, where it is tested, processed, stored and distributed for use in the various hospitals and clinics.
It is to be noted that men can safely donate blood every three months while women can do so every four months. Blood donation is not only an act of life-saving and philanthropy, it is also good for health. Among the health benefits is the lowering of iron levels in the body every time blood is given, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. In addition, regular blood donors have an 88% lower risk of heart attack and a 33% lower risk of any severe cardiovascular event.
Constant blood donation is also associated with lowered risks for cancers including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers. Moreover, when people donate blood, the body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells lost during donation are completely replaced within four to eight weeks. This process of replenishment can help the body stay healthy and work more efficiently and productively.
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