The Jakarta Post
The West Pasaman chapter of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI West Pasaman) is in short supply of blood as it struggles to find donors during Ramadan.
"It's getting harder for us to meet the blood demand," PMI West Pasaman chief Ridawarsa said in Simpang Empat subdistrict, West Pasaman, on Sunday, as quoted by Antara.
He said that, in the first week of the fasting month, demand for blood had reached 200 bags. Usually, the blood banks at the region's two hospitals would register weekly demand of around 150 bags.
The lack of space to hold a public blood donation drive in the evening posed a challenge for the blood transfusion unit of the PMI West Pasaman.
"Even the blood supplies we collected before Ramadan are running thin," Ridawarsa said.
As a result, the PMI West Pasaman often had to ask PMI Padang and Bukittinggi in West Sumatra to help cover its needs for blood, Ridawarsa said.
Aside from that, the PMI West Pasaman is also relying on the "on call" blood donation program, in which the PMI would collect donors' phone numbers and call them once their donation was needed.
To meet demand, Ridawarsa said, the PMI West Pasaman was planning to attract donors at places of worship.
Ridawarsa expressed hope that the public would lend them a hand in times of emergency.
"Hopefully, there will be more people willing to donate their blood for those in need," he said.
A blood shortage is common during the fasting month, as it is widely believed that donating blood invalidates the fast and weakens the human body, according to the PMI. (ars)