Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ahmedabad among top 5 world cities in blood donation

AHMEDABAD: From birthday bashes to farewell parties and marriage ceremonies to funerals, there is one thing common in Ahmedabad – blood donation. Amdavadis organize blood donation camps during such functions and all their friends and relatives are encouraged to participate.

It is this fervour and zeal for donating blood that has given Ahmedabad a reason to be proud — the per capita blood donation in the city is three times the world average. In fact, Ahmedabad is among the top five cities of the world in terms of per capita blood donation.

According to the 2010-11 world blood donation figures, the percentage of blood donors in Ahmedabad's population is 3.34, much above the world figure of little more than one per cent.

For Gujarat, which has 7.63 lakh donors, the figure stands at 1.26 per cent, which is double than the national figure of 0.63 per cent. Last year, the state collected 5.63 lakh units of blood while Punjab was second in the country with 2.29 lakh units, followed by Maharashtra.

Celebrating this philanthropic feat of Gujaratis, Ahmedabad Red Cross Society (ARCS) and Gujarat State Aids Control Society (GSACS) will felicitate more than 125 centurion blood donors on the World Blood Donors Day on June 14.

"It's only in Gujarat where blood donation camps are organized at parties and funerals. Also, its here that we have villages like Dholakuva, of Mansa Taluka in District Gandhinagar, where at least one member from all the 300 households donate blood," said state health minister Jay Narayan Vyas, admiring the role blood donors have played in saving the lives of kids suffering from thalassaemia.

The event, which will have state governor Dr Kamla and chief minister Narendra Modi as guests, will be attended by blood donors from across the state. The event will release of a film on thalassaemic children made by GSACS on how their lifeline depends on the blood donation by Amdavadis. ARCS has 700 children who regularly visit the centre for blood transfusion. A souvenir featuring stories about blood donors and the achievements of Gujarat will also be released on the occasion. "Out of every 100 blood donors in the country, 10 are Gujaratis and nearly three Amdavadis. Here blood donation drives are celebrated."

"Donating blood is a habit among many families in Ahmedabad and we have many examples where all family members above 18 regularly donate blood. Gujarat and Ahmedabad boast of highest number of people who have donated blood more than 100 times in the country," said ARCS president Mukesh Patel.

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