On June 19, the Red Cross blood donation bus made its first visit to the OIST campus. With many students, researchers, and staff, OIST was the perfect stop to make.
The OIST Health Center already had 20 people pre-registered before the 19th, indicating great awareness in the OIST community about the demand for blood. Researcher Devranjan Samanta said, “The blood I give will be naturally replaced, and I want to help others.” Researcher Omar Jaidar was among those who advocate blood donation, “My blood type is O negative, which is very rare. Someday I may need blood, so it is important that I donate for others.”
According to the Okinawa Prefectural Red Cross Blood Donation Center, Okinawa needs as many as 180 units of blood per day, which can rarely be supplied by donations from the prefecture. Last year Okinawa required blood donations from 3,000 people outside the island. Blood donation has become less popular among people in their teens and 20’s. This group accounted for 55% of the entire donor population in 1989, but only 27% in 2012.
For those who want to donate blood, there is a donation facility in Naha, and on weekdays three blood donation buses are on the road throughout Okinawa. With the success of the first event, OIST will organize more blood drives in the future. “Thanks to everyone who contributed, we had our first successful blood drive. We will make further efforts to improve our blood donation activities,” the OIST Health Center staff said.