With Omicron sidelining more than 100,000 blood donors in recent weeks, the Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA) launched a nationwide blood donation drive on Friday 25 February 2022 in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross (Lifeblood) and various mosques and Islamic centers to recruit more than 1500 new blood donors at 43 mosques across all states and territories of Australia in what may be one of the nation’s largest religious blood drives.
Australia has one of the safest blood supplies in the world. One in three Australians will need blood or blood products at some time in their life, whether during childbirth while undergoing chemotherapy or surgery or as a result of trauma such as a road accident.
Blood is needed somewhere in Australia every 24 seconds, but currently, only 3.5 per cent of people donate blood.
COVID lockdowns, a change in people’s movements and lifestyles, and general social anxiety has led to many donors cancelling their regular donations, or simply failing to show up, which has resulted in around 4,500 planned donations are being cancelled – or not attended – every day. It’s a real challenge for blood supplies because cancer patients, trauma cases, pregnant women, and unborn babies require donated blood even during a pandemic.
Our growing population is relying on just 500,000 blood donors across the country, and right now, many of them need someone else to continue this lifesaving work. Traditionally high numbers of no shows and cancellations are seen during the winter months, with many regular donors unwell. However, Blood donor centers have never seen cancellation numbers this high in the middle of summer.
President of the Australian Islamic Medical Association, Dr Muhammad Kahloon, calls for those of Islamic faith to join this noble cause and help save lives. It is part of the Islamic faith to go above and beyond the call of duty to preserve and save the human life, “Saving one life is like saving the whole humanity-Al Quran”.
He further stated that “If you are feeling well and eligible to donate, we really need you to get off the bench and help out now. You only need to be clear of COVID-19 symptoms for seven days to donate”.
Dr Kahloon stated the objectives and purpose of AIMA was to unite and inspire Muslim health professionals in Australia, where AIMA members wish to serve and contribute towards the welfare of Muslims and the broader Australian community.
He provided a brief overview of AIMA activities, including blood donation drive, CPR training sessions in Islamic centers and Mosques for community members and more recently, community and school awareness sessions on COVID-19 and vaccines.
While Lifeblood (Australian Red Cross) encourages people to book in advance, donor centers welcome walk-ins. Blood can be donated every three months, but plasma can be donated every two weeks. Donating blood will take only one hour of a person’s time, and every blood donation can help save up to three lives.
One unit of blood is usually separated into three main components but can be separated up to 22- this means many lives can be saved with just one unit of donation.
The AIMA blood donation drive has been hugely successful on its launch on Friday 25 February 2022. Many Islamic community members signed up for blood donation at many Mosques and Islamic centers across Australia. However, more Islamic community members still need to come forward and contribute to such a noble cause.
Anyone who would like to donate blood can check their eligibility on https://www.lifeblood.com.au/blood/eligibility.
If you are eligible to donate, please register a blood donor account on https://my.donateblood.com.au/app/utils/create_account, then join your Lifeblood team by following “My details” à Preferences à Search “Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA) Blood drive” then make an appointment at a nearby donor center.
For any questions or queries about this blood donation drive, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org