Blood has a significant role in saving life both for the donor and the recipient. Individuals can save someone’s life by donating blood. Transfusion of blood and blood products saves millions of lives every year. Blood is needed for critical patients such as the patients who are suffering from illness or are in life-threatening condition, accidental patient, pregnant mother and U-5 children. The history of blood donation was started in 1977 from Dhaka Medical College. Nowadays, there are several voluntary organizations working in Bangladesh about this issue. Those organization are always trying to manage sufficient blood for the needy patients who are in critical condition. Especially university and college students are the main blood donor of these voluntary organizations. During this pandemic, many donors are giving blood to save life though there is a risk for COVID-19 infection. Presumably, donating blood brings heavenly happiness in the donor’s mind which is spiritual happiness. One bag of blood saves three lives. That means one person can save three lives at a time by giving one bag of blood. At least 5 liters of blood is present in every human body so you can easily donate blood to save a life if you are physically active and healthy. To make sure Universal Health Coverage and effective health system blood donation needs to be universal. When the majority of healthy people are ready to give blood it is really possible to make a sustainable community as well as healthy nation. Access to safe and quality blood and blood products helps to achieve Universal Health Coverage. In Bangladesh, there is a shortage of regular blood donors which is the main obstacle to blood programs. Encouraging youth to give blood can be a solution to this problem and in this way we can make our community sustainable. There is a myth in our country that blood donation leads to weakness but actually it never brings weakness, rather it brings new energy to people's bodies by producing new blood cells. Now, some questions may arise in your mind that who are eligible for donating blood and what is the benefit of giving blood, or is there any risk? So here is your answer-
Who can give blood?
• Whose age is between 18 to 65 years.
• Whose weight is at least 50 kg
• Who is physically fit and have no cold, flu, sore throat, cold sore, stomach bug or any other infection
• Who went to areas where mosquito-borne infections are endemic, e.g. malaria, dengue and Zika virus infections may result in a temporary deferral.
• Whose sexual behavior is at good condition
• Pregnant and lactating mothers are not eligible to give blood.
What is the benefit of giving blood?
• You will get free blood diagnosis. Before giving blood your blood needs to be analyzed to find whether any disease is present or not.
• Excess amounts of iron cause a variety of complications such as hardening of arteries, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeats, decreased libido, lethargy, enlarged liver, and accelerated cholesterol oxidation to name a few. So it is necessary to keep balance in the iron level of your body. Blood donation reduces the iron level in your body. A single donation removes 220-250mg of iron from the body.
• Reduce the risk of cancer by reducing the iron level in the blood.
• Extra iron in the blood causes a disease called dementia. Regular blood donation reduces the risk of this disease
• Help to lose weight who are planning to lose weight. It can be the best way.
• According to American Journal of Epidemiology, blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack. That means blood donors are less prone to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
• Improve your psychological health.
Is there any side effect of blood donation?
No! Actually there are no side effects of blood donation seen in the donor after giving blood if the donor becomes healthy and physically fit.
From the aforesaid discussion, it is crystal to us that blood donation has no risk and it’s all about saving a life. As human beings, it is our duty to give blood and save others' life. Then we shall get a healthy world. A healthy world is an integral part of our sustainable development. So you have an opportunity to give blood and don’t waste it. Donates blood to save a life which will easily ensure sustainable development. Let’s donate blood for a happy and healthier world!
Md Billal Hossen, MS student, Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Technology, Islamic University, Bangladesh