194 times and counting: Jordanian expat in UAE has been donating blood for 35 years

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company says Hasan is a top donor

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Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 14 Jun 2022, 1:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Jun 2022, 1:50 PM

Omer Ali Hasan, a 55-year-old Jordan expat, has been donating blood and mainly apheresis for more than 35 years in Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services (ADBBS) receives two types of donations: blood and apheresis. While blood donation is a normal procedure, apheresis is a specific process of separating blood into its different components: platelets, red blood cells and plasma. Such donations are crucial during treatment of patients with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions.

Marking World Blood Donor Day, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), which manages ADBBS, said that Hasan has donated apheresis 194 times till date and is a top donor.

Hasan is proud of having been able to help people in need and saving lives.

“Alhamdulillah! I am happy to know that I am a top donor. I could save lives and help in the treatment of people. These acts are the most important things in your life. I am glad that I am living a meaningful life,” said Hasan, who came to Abu Dhabi as a four-year-old boy with his father.

“If my memory is correct, I was 19 years old when I started donating blood. I continued for 15 to 20 years, and then moved to donating apheresis,” said Hasan, who has a rare AB positive blood type.

Type AB donors are high in demand because they are universal plasma donors. Also, they are universal recipients as they can receive blood from all blood types.

“It was actually the staff at the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services, who told me about apheresis,” the private sector employee told Khaleej Times.

Healthy community members between 18 and 65 years of age and weighing above 50kg are eligible to donate. Blood donors can donate every 56 days and apheresis every 14 days. Blood donation takes 15 minutes while apheresis will be done in 90 minutes.

“Whenever there is a need, I get a phone call from the blood bank, and I will go there without fail,” Hasan added.

Indian expat has donated plasma 189 times

Meanwhile, Mahear Joseph, an Indian expat is the second biggest apheresis donor with 189 visits to the blood bank in Abu Dhabi.

“I have been in Abu Dhabi for the last 18 years and donating for 17 years now. Even when I was briefly working in Al Ain, I used to visit the blood bank there. I even schedule my vacation considering the days I must donate. So, there has never been a gap.”

Joseph started by donating blood every three months and later became a plasma donor.

“Once a doctor asked me if I was willing to donate plasma. Doctor said I can donate every 28 days. I agreed and have been continuing till date,” the 41-year-old with A positive blood type.

“Even in college days, I used to donate blood. Once I donate, I know that I am medically fit. This means that I am healthy. I find happiness once I have donated and made a difference in the lives of others,” said a government sector employee.

“My wife Kishi and children Joshua and Jehosheba have been supporting my initiative. Also, the safety standards followed at the blood bank are world class and the caring staff gives you confidence to continue to donate blood,” Joseph added.

To donate blood, community members can contact Abu Dhabi Blood Bank on 02 819 1700, Al Ain Blood Bank on 03 707 4191 and Al Dhafra Blood Bank on 02 807 2887.


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