Georgia: Red Cross volunteers donate blood to save mothers

تم النشر: 3 سبتمبر 2014 11:05 CET

by Andreea Anca, IFRC

Following an uneventful pregnancy Eka had a severe bleeding right after the delivery of her third son, Aleksandre. Her condition worsened quickly and she needed an additional supply of blood as soon as possible. The prompt mobilization of the Georgia Red Cross donors ultimately saved her life. Not everyone, however, is so lucky.

More than 800 women die every day from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications around the world from lack of access to safe blood.

The 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day on June 14 was celebrated by the Georgia Red Cross alongside many of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies all over the world, spreading the message of why timely access to blood for mothers-to-be is needed now more than ever.

Eka and her husband Giorgi were motivated by their very personal and powerful experience to participate in this year’s campaign ‘Safe Blood for Saving Mothers.`

Living by example

Although he is a doctor, Giorgi found himself at a loss when the hospital announced that it had run out of the blood that Eka needed, as she lay on the hospital bed in critical condition.

None of the blood banks in Tbilisi that the husband had turned to that day could help him because all their reserves were also exhausted.

As a last resort, Giorgi made a desperate call to the Georgia Red Cross Society. In the hours that followed the volunteers quickly mobilized to donate the blood that ultimately saved the life of his wife.

Since then, the grateful parents have become committed voluntary blood donors, and hope their story will inspire others in Georgia to donate blood.

Giorgi, who gives blood at least twice a year, hopes that his contribution `will save someone else from illness or even death.`

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) approximately 20 per cent of the total of annual blood donations are voluntary. In Georgia, an additional 20,000 donations are also needed to reach the 60,000 units standard set by WHO.

At the global level, regular and voluntary non-remunerated blood donations are paramount   as well, as there are chronic shortages of safe blood and blood products for many of the world`s most vulnerable population.

Through their wide network of volunteers, the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies play an important role in supporting the governments of their countries to ensure an adequate and  safe blood supply by providing full blood services (collecting, testing, processing and distributing) by systematically recruiting new donors and by promoting and advocating for blood donations.

Globally, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent plays a significant role in advocating and promoting regular voluntary non-remunerated blood donation.

The World Blood Donor Day established in 2004 is a significant milestone in advocating worldwide for the importance of voluntary blood donations, highlighting the life-saving role of the blood donors.

Eka says she would like to stay a donor `for as long as I am healthy.´

‘By donating my blood I express my gratitude to God and the people who gave me the possibility to enjoy being a happy mother again.`