Hello again life savers and IFMSA members
If you are reading this right now you must know that you are awesome.
Let us see how we are achieving more change with donation.
In this edition we’ll talk on the international campaign on blood donation, international action on blood donation & MSM as well as see an example of our members great activities.
I hope you enjoy reading
IFMSA international blood donation campaign 2018
Starting in the 27th of May, This is the first international campaign done by IFMSA on blood donation in the ocasion of international blood donor day, celebrated every year in the 14th of June. It aims to improve knowledge of members on blood donation and its importance, and give them the tools to promote it in their countries. It consists of a Facebook photo frame, a series of infographics showing the need for blood donation, its advantages, method and procedure and how to promote it in your community. The campaign includes also a quiz and a survey to assess members knowledge and evaluate the situation in their country, lastly a webinar on the international blood donor day.
Blood donation & MSM
One of the main barriers related to blood donation is the ban and deferrals imposed on the MSM community ( mem who have sex with men). This started since the 80s, with the HIV endemic, as they were seen as a potentially dangerous group, but today with the technological advancement, which enables effective prevention and early detection of STIs, MSM no more constitute a dangerous population and having the ban or deferral to donate blood is a clear discrimination against them. Many countries started dropping and reducing these bans.
After discussing this important topic in the last GA, we decided to start taking action about it.
We made a survey to assess the situation in different countries to be able to compare and come up with a world map that shows how is the situation going in different countries and encourage members to speak up for it and advocate for reducing and removing bans and deferrals against MSM community in their countries.
Marrow Hero by IFMSA Poland
Marrow donation is a relatively new medical procedure and thus, still not too many countries have it implemented it yet, and people are not aware of its importance and its lifesaving potential.
Our members in IFMSA Poland took the initiative and decided to start working on the topic, since 2014, they organize events in public places like shopping malls, sports matches, fair halls and pubs to raise awareness of people about marrow donation’s importance, correct myths and wrong ideas that they had as well as register people as potential donors. They also targeted universities to reach young people as a potentially more reachable and considering population and focused on peer education to teach them and convince them to donate. This work is done in collaboration with an NGO ( DKMS) and local centers of marrow donation that provide materials for registration. While providing continuous theoretical and practical training for members to make them ready and able to reach and register people.
Up until today, they have educated 15943 persons and registered 4495 potential bone marrow Donors.
If you want to know more about marrow hero you can get in touch with the activity coordinator by: [email protected]
In the end, I would like to encourage you to take a step forward and act to save lives with donation. Contact me now on [email protected] if you need any support.
As I always say ‘’ Doing good is the only virus worth spreading ‘’.
Let us all spread the message of saving lives, let us all spread the action of donation.
Saad Uakkas, Program coordinator on organ, tissue and marrow donation