Drop in blood donors

Lyna Mohamad

The number of blood donors has witnessed a decline to an average of 50 per day, in comparison to the high demand for blood supplies.

Senior Scientific Officer at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital’s Blood Donation Centre Ken Teo attributes this in part to public fears over the COVID-19 outbreak.

“They are fearful about becoming infected if they come to RIPAS Hospital,” he said. “That’s why the centre has adopted social distancing, hand sanitising and temperature checks, prior to registration.”

To gain more public confidence, the centre has set up other stringent measures for increased safety, including an appointment system for potential donors.

“Instead of having the donors come over in large groups, we limit them by the hour,” said Teo. He urged more people to come forward, to ensure a steady supply of blood stocks for Ramadhan.

“During the fasting month, we will be open in the evenings, but the night schedule has not been determined yet,” he said.

File photo of Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital’s Blood Donation Centre. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI