The Ministry of Health (MoH) announced yesterday the names of 190 Saudi citizens who are to be honored for frequently donating blood in Riyadh province. The awards will be presented by the ministry in accordance with a royal decree.
According to the decree, donors who have donated more than 10 times will receive the Third Degree Medal, while those who have contributed more than 50 times will receive the Second Degree Medal and a certificate.
An official from the MoH told Arab News there are 152 blood banks throughout the Kingdom including 15 central blood banks, 17 large blood banks and 120 regional ones.
He said the ministry does not import blood from foreign countries.
“They are collected from residents and citizens who make voluntary donations regularly.”
He added the various health directorates in the Kingdom make their own arrangements with voluntary blood donors.
He said blood banks are currently able to provide any quantity of blood from different blood types.
He added there is a contingency plan to stock more blood to provide services to pilgrims who come for Haj. He added: “At present we have 9,000 units of blood in addition to a sufficient number of units of fresh frozen plasma and platelets and deposits of cold plasma.”
An official from the general directorate of Blood Banks and Laboratories said donors can donate blood at their own convenience.
He also pointed out there are 20,000 voluntary donors who have been awarded the Third Degree Medal from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
More than 500,000 donors are registered with blood banks throughout the Kingdom.
The official said: “Some of these donors give blood several times according to their physical health.”
Last month, members of the Sri Lankan community donated blood to observe their Vesak celebrations at the Sri Lankan Embassy.
The event was organized by the embassy in Riyadh in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Expatriates Society in the capital.
In January, Indian expatriates came in their hundreds to donate blood in Riyadh at the King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) to commemorate their country's Republic Day.
KFMC collected around 111 liters of blood from volunteers.
Meanwhile, last week Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah met with a number of patients at Dammam Medical Complex and Al-Qatif Hospital to listen to their needs and grievances and promised to address their problems in line with the MOH’s “Patient First!” slogan.
He also took photos with children hospitalized at the city.
During his visit to the Eastern Province, the minister launched the “My Happiness Program”, which aims to raise mothers' awareness of the importance of good nutrition for babies.
Al-Rabeeah pointed out Dammam and Al-Qatif like other areas were witnessing a wide range of developments in the health care sector.
He said: “We will be reaping the rewards of such projects soon.
“The ministry is currently working on hundreds of health projects that are being carried out throughout the Kingdom.”