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Shillong: National Voluntary Blood Donation Day under the theme: “Blood Donors Bring a Ray of Hope. Be a Regular Blood Donor” was observed today at Holy Cross, Brookedene, Dhankheti, Shillong. The programme was organized by the Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) in collaboration with the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) and Licensed Blood Banks. Meghalaya Health & Family Welfare Minister, Shri A. L. Hek graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri A. L. Hek said that due to lack of proper awareness programmes there is still a fear in the minds of the people when it comes to donating blood. He appealed to the organizers to come up with a proper plan to disseminate information to the public and conduct awareness programmes about the benefits of blood donation and volunteering for a noble cause.

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It may be mentioned that every year 1st October is observed as National Blood Donation Day. The event serves to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. This year the day is celebrated as a month long activity to promote Voluntary Blood Donation and encouraging healthy individuals to become regular Voluntary Blood Donors. Voluntary Blood Donation Day stresses on the importance of regular donation by eligible donors to facilitate blood collection to meet national requirements. This would ensure access to safe blood transfusion when needed.

As part of the observation, Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) and Meghalaya State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) will be undertaking various activities at the State and District Level synchronizing with the organization of blood donation camps and increased blood donation. The activities are month long campaign, schedule of VBD camps in the State, felicitation of donors, awareness campaigns, mass media campaign and social mobilization.

Blood Donation Camp was also set up at the premises of the venue where students and willing individuals donated their blood voluntarily.

Others who spoke on the occasion include Secretary, Health & Family Welfare cum Member, State Blood Transfusion Council, Shri K. W. Marbaniang, Director of Health Services (MI), Dr. R. Wankhar, Superintendent of Police, East Khasi Hills District, Shri M. Kharkrang, Project Director, MACS, Dr. B. Lyngdoh and Incharge of Blood Bank, Dr. H. G. of Robert Hospital, Shillong and Dr. A. Tariang.

Other highlights of the programme include felicitation of Voluntary Blood Donors’ Organizations and musical performances by Dymbur and Emperical Tribe of the Meghalaya Icon 5. (MIPR)

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