Blood donation is considered an act of benevolence and donors play a crucial role in saving lives. However, according to data compiled by World Health Organisation a few years ago, the percentage of women blood donors accounted for less than 10 per cent of the total blood donors in India. Earlier, women either didn’t believe in the practice or they were not encouraged to do so. But there seems to be a change in their mindset and women are now willingly donating blood to save lives. Ahead of World Blood Donor Day, June 14, Orissa POST spoke to some women who have been voluntarily donating blood for the last few years.
Prateechi Parida, a student from Bhubaneswar, said, “Although I am not a regular blood donor, following the advice of the doctors of our college’s clinic, I donate blood at all the blood donation camps held in our college. I feel a little weak for five to ten minutes after I donate blood, but later I feel fine. Also, blood is thoroughly examined before being used for transfusion, so I would get to know if I have any medical issues. I believe, blood donation not only helps a receiver, it also helps the donor maintain good health.”
Kiranbala Mohanty of Cuttack said, “Being a homemaker, I hardly got an opportunity to donate blood. But I started donating after our family doctor asked me to do so. He said donation increases production of new blood cells and helps in maintaining good health. Now, I donate blood twice a year. To donate blood, you don’t have to attend any blood donation camps. You only have to visit the nearest blood bank and the rest is taken care of by the officials there. One must consult a physician before donating blood. I have been donating blood for the last five years and I believe this has helped me in maintaining my good health and ideal weight.”
Milan Rout of Dhenkanal said, “For a long time, I wanted to contribute to a cause, and I found blood donation is an ideal way to do so. I was nervous in the beginning but then the doctors informed me about the health benefits of blood donation. For four years now, I have been donating blood. This has helped me maintain my weight and I have never suffered from any major health issues. But you should consult a physician if you want to donate blood on a regular basis.”
Dr Sonali Das, a physician from Bhubaneswar who has also donated blood on a couple of occasions, said, “Times have changed, and women seem more willing to donate blood than men. These days, women have become proactive and are trying to contribute to social causes. They are now aware about the benefits of blood donation and know that it doesn’t make a person weak. Moreover, it has a lot of health benefits including reduced risk of cancer and of damage to liver and pancreas, among others. Donating blood helps in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity. The donation not only keeps the donors healthy but also secures their family, as a blood donor can also get blood without difficulty.”