By Stefanos Evripidiou
WHILE CYPRUS holds the lead in blood donations in the EU, the daily pressures on the Cyprus blood bank continues to increase, said a senior health ministry official on Friday.
Socrates Menelaou, responsible for blood donations at the health ministry, said Cyprus had almost double the proportion of active blood donors compared to other EU countries, reaching 7 to 8 per cent of the population.
Despite the high quantity of blood donations, for which “we are very proud,” Menelaou said Cyprus’ needs are greatly increased, adding that the pressure on a daily basis is very high “due to the very high number of thalassemia patients we have”.
He was speaking at a special event at the Presidential Palace to mark World Blood Donation Day.
Speaking at the event, First Lady Andri Anastasiades hailed the fact Cyprus holds the lead in blood donations throughout the EU.
Blood donation was “a celebration of humanity and solidarity where volunteers generously offer what is most valuable to them to help those who need us in difficult moments,” she said.
Cypriots can be proud in the knowledge that the country meets all its blood needs through voluntary, non-paid blood donations, added the First Lady.
Yesterday’s event, organised by the non-profit organisation Reaction Youth for Prevention and the ministry’s blood bank, was dedicated to the memory of Sotia Ioannou, who died at 25 with leukaemia, and former communications minister Tasos Mitsopoulos.
According to traffic police chief Demetris Demetriou, on average more than a third of all deaths in Cyprus involve under 25s.
From the 44 road deaths last year, 20 were under the age of 25, counting for 45 per cent, he said.
Demetriou noted that during Mitsopoulos’ term in office at the communications ministry, and as head of the road safety council, the lowest number of road deaths and injuries were recorded