Muslims urgedto donate blood after breaking fast

, National 2 minutes, 42 seconds


MUSLIMS who are eligible to donate blood are encouraged to do so even during the fasting month, supervisors at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital’s Blood Donation Centre has said.

Hj Matusop Hj Daud and Hj Iqmal Hj Ismail told The Brunei Times that Muslims would be able to give blood as long as they had eaten, were well-rested, and not taking any medication.

Apart from running from 8am to 2pm from Mondays to Thursdays, and Saturdays during Ramadhan, the RIPAS Blood Donation Centre is also extending its operating hours from 8.15pm to 10pm on designated dates.

“Our night sessions (during Ramadhan) are a good opportunity for Muslims to donate blood, as they would be well-fed after sungkai and eligible to give blood,” Hj Matusop explained.

Hj Iqmal pointed out that giving blood at night was a more relaxed experience, as donors would have just had good meals, and done with work for the day.

He also estimated that the blood donation centre had collected between 30 and 40 pints of blood during each of its two-hour night sessions this Ramadhan, which had proven to be “quite popular” among Muslim blood donors.

Hjh Nurul Azimah Hj Muhammad and Dk Farhanah Pg Kahar - who were spotted waiting in line to give blood at the RIPAS Blood Donation Centre during one of its night sessions last week - praised the centre’s extended opening hours.

The cousins, who started donating blood two years ago, said that they knew about the centre’s extended hours through messages received from the centre’s staff.

They also shared that it was their first time giving blood during Ramadhan.

For his part, Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) employee Sofian Hussin shared that he had previously given blood during Ramadhan, saying that it was no different from giving blood during other non-fasting months.

Sofian, who has given blood over 40 times since 1999, encouraged fellow Muslim blood donors to get plenty of rest before and after giving blood.

The sentiments were echoed by his colleague, Ambran Hj Mohammad, who also said that he feels “better” each time he donates blood. “You can really feel a difference in your body - in a good way - each time you donate blood. So if you can give blood, you should,” Ambran said.

The RIPAS Blood Donation Centre will be extending its operation hours again tonight from 8.15pm to 10pm. It will also be open at night on July 2, 6 and 9.

Meanwhile, another officer from the same blood donation centre praised the initiatives by non-government organisations and individuals who step forward to donate blood despite this fasting month.

On Saturday night, more than 90 members of the Indonesian Migrant Workers Alliance (GARDA-BMI) turned up at the RIPAS blood bank to boost hospital supplies.

Leading the blood donation drive was the group’s chairman Aldi Abdurrahman.

Earlier this week, about 20 members of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAC) also gathered at the centre to replenish the supplies.

The officer, who requested anonymity, said the blood stock would usually drop during the fasting month as Muslims were not inclined to donate.

According to the statistics given by the hospital, a total of 6,300 pints of blood have been donated since last January.

The Brunei Times