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Fighting coronavirus: More Emiratis donate blood amid the pandemic

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on August 25, 2020 | Last updated on August 25, 2020 at 05.59 pm
Fighting, Covid19, coronavirus, Emiratis, donate, blood, pandemic

(Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times)

Sami Elaalabi, an Arab expat, said the response for blood donation drives shows how humanity comes together in the hour of crisis.

Amid the pandemic, the number of Emirati blood donors has been increasing, health authorities have observed. In one recent blood donation drive, locals kept pouring into a wedding hall from 4pm until nighttime.

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) and the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, in coordination with various stakeholders, have been holding the blood donation campaign 'Donate Blood Give Life' across the emirate. And as they carry out drives under the initiative, more Emiratis have been coming forward.

Among them was Salem Alaamri, an Emirati influencer who voluntarily contributed to the cause and later entertained other donors with pep talks. He kept reminding youngsters about the vision of the UAE leadership, whose framed portraits decorated the walls of the wedding hall that served as the drive's venue.

"As a local, we always follow in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace. We are doing this to support our healthcare sector. We are passionate about joining such campaigns for our country. By donating blood, we are able to save precious lives. We can help everyone - citizens and expats. We will do whatever it takes to make contributions. I ask others to join this campaign," said Alaamri, an influencer for the past three years.

Another Emirati donor noted that blood donation offers people a chance to play a key role in the UAE's fight against the pandemic.

"For those people who feel they couldn't be part of the frontline duties or make a contribution to the nation's fight, this is the easiest and simplest way to join in," a local said.

Sami Elaalabi, an Arab expat, said the response for blood donation drives shows how humanity comes together in the hour of crisis.

"When you are giving your blood, especially now, you are making a priceless contribution. These are crucial phases of our lives. This is such a hard time for everyone and the health sector. I have seen teenagers and youngsters standing tall by contributing for this beautiful country."

Demand for blood is high

Prior to donating blood, vital health signs of all donors were checked. Medical staff asked brief questions and once cleared, only then will they be allowed to donate blood.

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank staff said the number of Emirati donors went up significantly since the start of the pandemic.

"Now, the demand for blood is high because of a lot of medical requirements at the hospitals. When the pandemic started, we thought the blood donation process would become very difficult with all the precautionary measures in place. We created awareness about the need for blood donation. And we got a lot of donors at the blood bank," said Saturnino Guzman Gapasin, staff nurse at Abu Dhabi Blood Bank.

"Locals have always donated blood, but ever since Covid-19 started, more Emiratis have become donors. Their participation has gone up. However, the number one participants here are from the Indian community. There are a lot of Indian groups who contribute."

Where to donate?

Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, located in Khalidiya area of the city, is managed by the Laboratory Medicine department of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. For inquiries call 02-8191700.

Some government and private organisations and universities make special arrangements for SEHA's Mobile Blood Bank. This helps large groups of staff and students to make donations. To arrange a visit, call 02-8191701 or 02. 


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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