Best local and international blood donors were recognized on Friday during global celebrations of World Blood Donor Day in the capital Kigali.
The celebration featuring blood donations was used to raise awareness on the importance of safe and sufficient blood supply in Africa’s health programs.
The celebration was co-organized by Rwanda’s ministry of health and the World Health Organization (WHO) under the theme: Safe Blood for All.
It was preceded by a conference on Thursday, where participants including scientists and specialists discussed about blood donor mobilization, recruitment and retention strategies to achieve safe blood for all.
Speaking at the event, Patrick Ndimubanzi, the state minister of public and primary healthcare, said Rwanda introduced a blood established computerized system to reliably manage blood donors and blood from collection, to distribution, and to transfusing facilities.
He called on Rwandans to develop a culture of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation.
Rwanda blood service satisfies hospitals by 90 percent with over 47,000 voluntary donors and about 568 mobile blood collection centers, according to the minister.
Rwanda’s National Blood Service has registered several achievements including developing capacity for automated separation of blood components to provide the patient with only the components they need.
Efforts are in place to sustain gains of the national blood program and increase safety and availability by introducing new technologies, that is why government introduced a more efficient blood delivery system using unmanned drones, according to the minister.
Rwanda’s national Blood Donation Centre has 47,000 blood donors and 25 districts hospitals are supplied with drones, according to the ministry.
Arjun Mainali was recognized as best blood donor in the world, who has donated blood for more than 171 times.
He said while it’s not an easy task to donate blood it’s worth it for it is a sure way to save lives such as lives of women who die during delivery.
Christine Ashimwe, a health advocate and Rwandan blood donor said she was grateful to have been a recipient of blood at King Faisal Hospital in 2017; from someone she didn’t know- which gave her life and enabled her to raise her daughters.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually around the world on June 14.
It serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and also to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products.