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Blood saves lives — but what happens when there is a shortage? This is an issue that many face worldwide, but as a developing country, Cambodia especially struggles. Blood donations lack in lower-income countries but are exponentially higher in high-income countries. With that being said, there is one way you can help in the capital of Phnom Penh, Cambodia: become a blood donor.

 

Blood Transfusion Centre

In 2017, the National Blood Transfusion Centre received about 75,000 units of blood donations, most of which were from family donors. Each unit contains about 350 milliliters of blood, and a single unit can save up to three lives. There is still a need for more, however.
That’s where Mad Monkey Phnom Penh is making strides to help alleviate the medical needs of the country.

 

National Blood Transfusion Centre - Blood Drive: the Need for Safe Blood in Cambodia

 

Drive at Mad Monkey Phnom Penh

On Thursday, April 25, the hostel will be hosting a blood drive in hopes of alleviating the blood shortage the country faces daily. Water and snacks will be provided to all those who donate in our clean and comfortable donating space. We’ll also have a photo booth in place so that you can share with your followers that you saved lives whilst traveling, living, or passing through the capital.

 

Blood Drive at Mad Monkey Phnom Penh - Cambodia Red Cross - Blood Drive: the Need for Safe Blood in Cambodia
Blood Drive at Mad Monkey Phnom Penh – Cambodia Red Cross© Courtesy of Mad Monkey Hostels Phnom Penh

 

Maricel Mañoza, an administrative advisor and business systems analyst, is one of the donors attending the blood drive at Mad Monkey. She moved to Phnom Penh in December 2016. She has always made it a goal of hers to donate blood at least once a year, no matter where she resides.
“It is important to donate because it is not just an opportunity to give something that is part of you but there are also many benefits for the giver such as it can lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack and even the risk of cancer,” Mañoza said.

 

Blood Drive at Mad Monkey Phnom Penh - Best Hostel Phnom Penh - Blood Drive: the Need for Safe Blood in Cambodia
Mad Monkey Phnom Penh © Courtesy of Kirsten Muolic/Mad Monkey Hostels

 

The Problem in Cambodia

According to a 2018 article by the Phnom Penh post, road crashes are the leading cause of death in the country. One way to combat the high number of fatalities is with more safe blood to be used for transfusions, but unfortunately, there just isn’t enough to go around.
According to the National Blood Transfusion Centre, the four main reasons Cambodians need blood are to aid:

  • Road accident victims
  • Mothers hemorrhaging during childbirth
  • Cancer patients
  • People undergoing major surgery

 

 

On the bright side, however, blood donation rates seem to be on the rise. From 2008 to 2015, Cambodia saw this number go up from 3 per 1,000 populations to 4.6 per 1,000 populations.
According to the Health and Strategic Plan 2016-2020 created by the Department of Planning and Health Information (May 2016), they expect to see the percentage of voluntary blood donations go up from about 25 percent in 2015 to 50 percent in 2020. This is great to hear, as medical professionals are in dire need of safe and sufficient blood for both medical and surgical reasons. 

 

Is it Safe to Donate Blood?

This is one question many want to answer before deciding to give blood. The short answer is yes, it is safe to donate blood!
An adult has four to seven liters of blood in their bodies. The body also makes new red blood cells every day, so you don’t need to worry about replacing the blood (it is normally restored in about 48 hours if you hydrate). With that being said, you should span about four months between each blood donation.

 

Who Can Donate?

In order to donate, the National Blood Transfusion Centre Cambodia states that volunteers must be able to check off the following:

  • Be in good health
  • Aged 18-60
  • Weigh more than 45 kilograms
  • Must not have donated blood within the last three months (male) or four months (females)

 

**Attention Mad Monkey Guests!**

  • The first 20 guests who sign up to donate blood on Thursday, April 25 will get a dollar off our delicious Bloody Marys the following day (Friday, April 26)! Ask a CER or reception for more information about how to sign up!

 

Who Can Donate? - Blood Drive: the Need for Safe Blood in Cambodia
Mad Monkey Phnom Penh © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey

 

What does the Donation Process Look Like?

Before donating blood with the National Blood Transfusion Centre Cambodia, here is a breakdown of what donating looks like!
First, you will complete a simple questionnaire and someone from the center will check your health and blood pressure. They will test or doublecheck your blood type before collecting 350 milliliters of blood. The actual blood collection process only takes about five to ten minutes. Afterward, Mad Monkey will be providing juice so donators can rest and refuel. That’s it! 

Contact the National Blood Transfusion Centre Cambodia

If you want more information about donating, please contact the National Blood Transfusion Centre Cambodia.
Phone number: +85 092 998 000
Address: Yothapol Khemarak Phoumin Blvd (271), Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 

Why Should You Donate?

Blood only lasts for about 35 days, so it is absolutely crucial that more donations are frequently made. The more blood drives held in Phnom Penh and around Cambodia, the better.
“It is important to know that human blood cannot be manufactured, people are the only source of it and that is why it is important to donate blood and help those who need it,” Mañoza said.

 

 

More Information About Volunteering in Cambodia

Did you enjoy reading this article about how to give back to the community in Phnom Penh? Do you want even more information about how to volunteer your time and more in this beautiful country? Then check out these articles we’ve rounded up for your reading pleasure!

  • The 6 Best Places to Volunteer in Cambodia by Marissa for Culture Trip
  • The truth about volunteering in Cambodia for Move to Cambodia
  • Work, study, and volunteering in Cambodia for Lonely Planet
  • The Ultimate Guide to Volunteering in Cambodia for Giving Way

 

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About the Author

Kelly Iverson is a vibrant and cutting-edge digital content creator and social media manager with a passion for hospitality.