A record 60,000 blood donations were made in Cyprus in 2016, which has helped the blood bank accumulate an adequate amount of stocks for now despite high demand, it said on Tuesday.
Cyprus has the highest per capita number of blood donations in Europe and is one of 62 countries in the world that covers its blood needs entirely on a volunteer basis, the blood bank’s Socrates Menelaou said.
“We have broken all the records in Cyprus last year, surpassing 60,000 donations,” he noted. “The number of blood donors exceeded 20,000. Some donate once, twice and even four times a year, every three months,” he added. “We should be proud of the numbers in a country with the population we have.”
Menelaou thanked all those who donated blood in 2016, saying that because of the many donations the amount of blood is at adequate levels, something the blood bank will continue to strive for in 2017.
The Nicosia blood bank has coped well over the holidays and the staff is determined to continue their successful campaigns in the new year, starting with a big event in the Mall of Cyprus on Tuesday.
“We have done well this year compared to last year and the year before because there were not so many holidays in a row,” head of the Engomi-based blood bank Socrates Menelaou explained, adding “we have had problems but not like in the years before.”
He went on to say that though the holidays passed well a lot of donors are needed due to people with thalassemia who need blood weekly and big operations carried out in medical centres around the island.
“Many people don’t go abroad for major surgeries anymore so there is more demand,” he said.
To make sure adequate amounts of blood are maintained the blood bank routinely reaches out to the public, starting the current year’s campaigns this week in army camps, work places and communities and continuing in secondary schools next week.
The first event took place in the Mall of Cyprus in Nicosia on Tuesday as thousands of people were expected to visit the mall from morning to evening.
This was just one of around 700 blood donation campaigns organised per year in Nicosia, according to Menelaou.