UAE: Merit medals awarded to expat blood donors, Saudi Arabia


The kingdom, like many other nations, is facing a shortage of blood brought on by the pandemic

Merit Medal

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has awarded 32 expatriates merit medals for donating blood 10 times each.

The kingdom last week called for more donors to come forward to prevent a shortage caused by Covid-19. In particular type O blood is needed.

A King Abdullah Hospital study found blood bank donations dropped by about 40 per cent during the pandemic, outstripping the decline in blood needed, which fell by 22 per cent.READ MOREMeet the women blazing a trail for science in the Gulf

Dr Maha Badawi, a haematology consultant and the director of blood transfusion services at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah, told Arab News there was an increasing need for blood.

“The call is constant,” she said.

“Covid-19 negatively impacted blood supply globally and the problem was due to several factors. Although Covid-19 isn’t transmitted by blood, Covid-19-positive patients and individuals who were exposed to positive cases were required to isolate for periods of time to curb the spread of the infection.

“Another impact was the social-distancing measures. Mass campaigns and initiatives were suspended, restricting the number of donors in turn.”

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