The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the National Institute of Hematology-Blood Transfusion on Thursday jointly held a blood drive during which invited participants helped save lives by giving the gift of blood before the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.
The blood drive attracted more than 80 participants, who were not only staff of the U.S. Embassy, but also those of other embassies and their family members and friends.
The donors included the American Chamber of Commerce and member American companies, U.S. Embassy Health Fair 2014 exhibitors, and Vietnamese college students in Hanoi.
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius also partook in the blood drive. “I’m proud to donate blood today to respond to a need during the Tet holiday. I have been donating blood over the last 30 years,” Ambassador Ted Osius told Tuoi Tre News, referring to the Lunar New Year, which is about a month away.
Staff members from the U.S. Embassy and the National Institute of Hematology-Blood Transfusion pose for a picture on January 15, 2014. Photo: Trung Pham/Tuoi Tre News
The U.S. Embassy hosted the drive in a bid to meet blood demand during the forthcoming holiday, which routinely sees a decrease in donors, as well as to increase awareness of the importance of having a consistent supply of blood from volunteer blood donors.
The charity event was also intended to recognize the accomplishments of Vietnam’s National Blood Program over the last several years in its steady progress of increasing the country’s blood supply.
Blood donors register at the American Center on January 15, 2014. Photo: Trung Pham/Tuoi Tre News
This marked the U.S. Embassy’s fourth blood drive. The first event, on September 25, 2012, attracted 62 donors. At the second blood drive on January 11, 2013, there were 80 donors, and another 80 at the third event on August 30, 2013.
According to the U.S. Embassy, Vietnam has shown great progress in enlarging its percentage of blood supply from voluntary donors.
However, the National Institute of Hematology-Blood Transfusion said the current supply is only enough to meet about 60 percent of the identified need.