Home>News Center>China

Extraordinary gifts grant new life
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-15 00:16

Hundreds came to the Beijing Red Cross Blood Centre Monday to do the extraordinary, yet with such a simple act.

They gave a bit of themselves by acting as blood donors, providing good to those whose lives will be touched by their generosity.

A young female student in Nanchang, provincial capital of East China's Jiangxi, lies beside an array of red roses Monday while donating blood in the lead up to the first World Blood Donor Day. Many volunteers in the city showed up for donation. [newsphoto]

It was part of what organizers are calling World Blood Donor Day, an occasion when donors can provide blood voluntarily.

Most of the donors Monday were university students, an idealistic lot who are eager to show their kindness to others. Their blood will go to cancer patients, accidents victims and patients suffering from blood-related disease.

But others from all walks of life can donate blood, too.

While the rate of voluntary unpaid blood donations has reached 60 per cent in Beijing and the number of voluntary donors is up to 1.35 million people.

And as the capital of China, the percentage of Beijing citizens who donate blood falls below some other Chinese cities.

"Compared with other countries in the world, China also falls behind when it comes to volunteerism and the need to increase the scientific awareness of the importance of voluntary donations," said Ma Xiaowei, deputy director of the Ministry of Health.

Indeed, in some western nations, payments for donated blood aren't allowed. Nearly all blood gathered for use by hospitals is voluntarily donated, with networks of individual donors who have literally given hundreds of litres over their lifespans.

More than 80 million units of blood are donated every year worldwide, but only 38 per cent of blood is collected in developing countries while more than 80 per cent of the global population lives, according to the World Health Organization.

The basis for an adequate supply of safe blood is a pool of healthy, regular, voluntary donors who give blood without financial or other rewards, said Gao Guojing, director of the Beijing Red Cross Blood Centre.

According to Gao, the biggest headache for safe blood is the lack of unpaid donors.

"I can guarantee our facilities are clean and advanced," Gao said.

Evidence from around the world demonstrates that voluntary donors are the foundation of a safe blood supply because they are least likely to transmit potentially life-threatening infections, such as HIV, to recipients.

Ma also encouraged everyone -- especially young people -- to consider donating as a public responsibility.

The right to vote comes at 18, and so does the right to give blood and save others' lives.

"It is a sign of maturity," said Wu Yuchang, a student with Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. "We university students understand that it is beneficial for our body to have occasional blood donation and we believe in the technology of the professional blood centres. We want to help others."

Qin Xiyao, 59, has lost count of the number of blood products he has used while fighting cancer.

"I've been sick a long time and you can't imagine how much I appreciate the people whose blood is running in my veins," he said, "I used to be a donor and I would still be one if I could."

Pu Cunxin, a well-known Chinese TV actor as well as the national spokesperson for the blood donation cause also joined the students. "I am an ordinary citizen, I donate blood once a year for those who are in need," he said. "But as a public figure, I just want to help to encourage people to help save lives."

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Fixed asset investment growth slowing



Bodies of slain workers brought home



Hu leaves Romania, visits Uzbekistan



Taiwan investors welcome in mainland



Will power crunch upset global investors?



China seizes 1,943 kg drugs since May


  Hu leaves Romania, visits Uzbekistan
  Taiwan investors welcome in mainland
  China upgrades diplomatic guiding principles
  Extraordinary gifts grant new life
  Energy-rich regions may be targets for foreign capital
  Man-made rain to cool Shanghai's power demand
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  When will china have direct elections?