Meet the man who has been donating blood for 20 years
Iyad Khamis Yousif Al Moosa, Emirati blood donor
Dubai - The Emirati has donated nearly 40 times over these years.
Published: Mon 17 Jun 2019, 9:00 PM
Last updated: Mon 17 Jun 2019, 11:32 PM
If Iyad Khamis Yousif Al Moosa had not been donating blood for the past 20 years, it would not have been possible to save thousands of lives.
The Emirati has donated nearly 40 times over these years. His blood is the rare "O negative", which can be used for patients with any blood type, and is beneficial during emergencies.
"There isn't any particular reason that I continue to donate blood.it is just for the sake of humanity," said Iyad while speaking to Khaleej Times.
On June 14, which is marked as World Blood Donor Day, Iyad was honoured by the Dubai Heath Authority (DHA) for his selfless donation.
"Years ago when I started donating blood, the DHA used to pay an amount of Dh200 to Dh300 to donors," he claimed. "Even then, money was not the reason for me to be part of donating blood," he added.
Iyad donates blood voluntarily at least four to five times a year. "The authority also calls me for donation if they need my blood type since it is rare," he said.
According to him, awareness is the single most important thing for anything in life. "People need to be aware that donating blood can save lives. A large percentage of those who are donating blood at the Dubai Blood Donation Centre save many lives in emergencies," he said.
"People should not wait for a donation day to give blood," he added.
People with Type O blood are called 'universal donors' because their blood can be used for patients with any blood type. Type O blood is often in short supply in hospitals, due to demand for this universal donor type.
In particular, Type O-negative blood is in high demand because it's the one most often used for emergencies, when there may not be time to determine a patient's blood type. However, people with Type O-negative can only receive their own type of blood.
"People can donate blood every eight weeks, and platelets up to 24 times a year," said Dr Mai Raouf, director of the DHA's Dubai Blood Donation Centre.
"With each blood donation, you can potentially save up to three lives. Regular blood donation takes 15 minutes, while platelet collection takes 45 minutes to one hour," she explained. "Platelet collections are vital and needed by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Since platelets are blood cells critical to stop bleeding, these are also used in life-threatening bleeding situations, post-surgery or after accidents.
"Our message to the community is that they should come forward and donate blood. Donating blood is a safe process, necessary to save lives, it is a constant need and a humanitarian deed," she added.
The centre also collects through mobile blood donation bus by reaching out to community members at their work places, universities, in community areas to provide easy and convenient blood donation facilities.