Nafsiah Mboi: (JP/P.J. Leo)
Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi has encouraged people to be more active in donating blood as the country still lacks blood donors despite aggressive campaigning.
“People willing to donate blood are heroes as they can save lives,” she said during a speech at a seminar held to mark this year’s World Blood Donor Day, themed “Every Blood Donor is a Hero”, which fell on June 14.
Citing Health Ministry data, Nafsiah said Indonesia needed 4.5 million bags of blood per year to save lives in emergencies. However, the number of blood donations stood at only 2.1 million bags of bloods per year, with only 70 percent of the total blood being donated, she added.
Thirty 30 percent of the blood supply is from replacement blood donors, the data says.
The World Health Organization (WHO) records that globally, the demand for blood increases 1 percent every year, while the amount of donated blood continues to decrease 1 percent per year.
Nafsiah said blood donations in Indonesia should be at least 2 percent of the country’s population as it faced an increasing number of life-threatening emergencies, such as traffic accidents, natural disasters, blood disorders and diseases, including thalassemia, as well as a high maternal mortality rate.
“We just don’t want to see more people die due to late blood transfusions,” she said.
According to the ministry, the number of maternal deaths has reached 263 per 100,000 live births, with hemorrhaging being the leading cause of maternal death during childbirth.