Critical blood supply shortage in Sabah due to spread of Covid-19

Blood donation campaigns planned by Sabah government statutory bodies and non-governmental organisations had to be postponed for safety reasons due to the pandemic. — Bernama file pic
Blood donation campaigns planned by Sabah government statutory bodies and non-governmental organisations had to be postponed for safety reasons due to the pandemic. — Bernama file pic

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KOTA KINABALU, May 23 — The blood supply in Sabah is now at a critical level, among others, due to the spread of Covid-19 which caused the blood donation campaigns to be postponed apart from people’s rising sense of anxiousness about going out and donate.

Sabah Blood Donors Association (Pendarah) president Alix Sunggin said several blood donation campaigns planned by government statutory bodies and non-governmental organisations, especially in public areas, had to be postponed for safety reasons due to the pandemic.

“Hospitals had to contact donors to come to the blood banks because some of them were hesitant to leave the house due to fear of contracting the disease,” he told Bernama recently.

Previously, state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said that due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the blood supply in Sabah had declined by 20 per cent this year following the cancellation of more than 200 blood donation campaigns involving an initial target of 6,000 donations.

Alix said various initiatives had been taken to ensure that the blood supply was always sufficient, including offering health policies for those who donated blood consistently, such as priority for Covid-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was reported to have said that blood donors who had donated more than 50 times would be placed on the top list to receive the Covid-19 vaccine shot.

In addition, Alix said Pendarah took the initiative to continue working with various parties to organise blood donation campaigns not only in the city centre, but in other districts including in rural villages. — Bernama

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