First for PMB Muslim community

2010-06-02 00:00

NIZAMIA Islamic School in the city is to host a significant first in KwaZulu-Natal and in the local Muslim community — a blood-donor drive. Advocacy group, the SA Muslim Network, is calling on Muslims to donate blood during the event.

According to Fathima Shaikh, head of collections for the midlands branch of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), the number of Muslim blood donors is “minimal”. She put this down to past opposition to blood donation by local Muslim organisations.

Abdullah Saeed, a teacher at Nizamia, said: “We are only allowed to donate if there is a genuine need. The SANBS has stated that there is a growing need for blood donations and new donors. That is why the Muslim councils are now allowing, and encouraging, Muslims to donate blood.”

Saeed is organising the drive assisted by matric pupils at Nizamia as part of the community service component of the school’s life-orientation curriculum.

Both Saeed and Shaikh stressed that “the traditions of Islam will be respected” in the way the blood-donation drive is set up and run.

The men’s drive will take place in the Nizamia school hall on Friday at 4 pm to 7.30 pm, while women can donate on Saturday at 9 am to 2 pm. Special arrangements will also be made to accommodate men on Saturday morning.

 

• Inquiries: Khulekhani Zuma of SANBS at 033 264 3600.

 

KWAZULU-NATAL has only two- and-a-half days’ stock of blood supplies, half of what the province’s South African National Blood Service (SANBS) branch tries to have stored.

Ianthe Exall, head of marketing for the KZN SANBS, said: “We are happy if we have around five days’ blood supply in hand. We have to supply 500 units a day to the province’s hospitals and currently we have a total of about 1 300 units in stock. We will be running donor clinics at schools until the end of term, but once the holidays start, that source will dry up.

“We are also trying to meet a national commitment to make sure that there is a safe and sufficient blood supply in the country for the World Cup. Over this critical period, SANBS requires seven days’ blood stock. Only South African residents can donate blood for use in the country, so another way South Africans can show hospitality to World Cup visitors is to donate blood,” Exall said.

To be eligible to donate blood a person must:

• weigh more than 50 kilograms;

• be between the ages of 16 and 65;

• Lead a sexually safe lifestyle;

• be in good health; and

• eat a good meal before donating.

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