Accra Nov. 14, GNA - Mr Shakespeare Dzokoto on Monday received a double door refrigerator for donating blood 46 times to earn the highest national blood donor award.
The Rotary Club organised the ceremony in every region to reward people, who have donated blood voluntarily and most frequently to save lives.
Mr Samuel Arthur, who has donated 43 times, was given a 23-inch television, The Reverend Father Andrew Campbell, who have donated 41 times, got a 12-inch television and Miss Edith Nana Yaa Adwin, who has donated 15 times, was given a Special Youth donation award. The ceremony coincided with this year's launching of National Blood Donation Campaign at the Freedom and Justice Park, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra. About 53 people had voluntarily donated blood as at 1500 hours.
Rotary Club, an organization involved with humanitarian services, instituted the award for voluntary blood donors six years ago and it expected about 3,000 pints of blood to be donated during the year. Dr Mrs Lucy Asamoah Akuoko, Acting Head of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), launching this year's campaign on the theme: "The Youth in Blood Donation, Crucial Partners in Saving Lives", said there was the need for a new generation of voluntary blood donors to follow the good example of the gallant retiring ones.
Dr Akuoko advised the youth to engage in healthy lifestyles to enable them to give out safe blood, saying: "If the youth play a crucial role in saving lives, then we cannot afford to lose them through HIV/AIDS."
She said NBTS still experienced blood shortages, especially when schools and colleges were on vacation and encouraged the formation of donor clubs within communities to assist the centre during the lean seasons.
"Blood transfusion service can only survive through the preparedness of our kind voluntary blood donors to regularly help to stock our hospitals with adequate safe blood readily available and affordable to all patients in need of transfusion therapy," she said.
Dr Akuoko said: " Blood should wait for the patient, not the patient for blood," adding that lack of blood could yield unpleasant result of preventable deaths.
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sport, reiterated the need for the youth to donate safe blood in a bid to contribute their quota to national development.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister expressed Government's gratitude to the Rotary Club of Accra for their humanitarian services. Professor Awuku Amoah Sakyi, Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, also stressed on the need for safe blood explaining that another mode of transmission for the HIV was through blood transfusion. He said the Commission was collaborating with the Club to organise Blood Safety Week Campaign to educate people on the need to live healthy lives to ensure safe blood donations.