At midnight, Newzad’s phone rings. The hospital called him asking to donate a pint of his (AB-) blood for a case seriously injured in a car crash.
“I had no idea who is the receiver. He was a man from Baquba, Diyala, injured in a car accident by himself ad they critically needed blood so I went there immediately to help,” said Nizar Newzad, 38, a resident of Kirkuk.
Newzad is a regular blood donor so the hospital made an ID for him so that he can go easily to the hospital and donate blood whenever they call him.
I donated blood to an injured and thank God he survived a surgery
“The injured whom I donated blood for, thank God have survived a successful surgery. This means a lot for me,” said Newzad who is donating blood regularly in the last seven years.
Tens of Kirkukis headed to Kirkuk hospitals to donate blood on June 14th, World Blood Donor Day, a critical contribution by the voluntary, unpaid blood donors to the domestic health system.
“My son will undergo an operation so I donated blood for transfusion. It was the first tiem to me to donate and go to Blood Bank and realized how vital its is to donate so decided each three months to donate a bottle (0.5liter),” said Hazim Ali, a 51-year-old resident of Kirkuk.
Per the guidelines of Iraqi ministry of health, an interval of three months is required between each donation. Kirkuk blood bank receives 90 pints a day while it needs about 125 pints.
Ahmed Matar, director of Kirkuk blood bank said they need 125 bottles a day, 3,750-4500 bottles a month depending on the cases hospitalized. 80 bottle per day goes for Thalassemia and cancers patients and the rest for emergency cases, particularly victims of car accidents.
“Few nights ago, a damaged intestine case required 30 bottles so we launched a campaign for (O-) blood group and managed to receive 20 bottles,” said Matar as some cases require big quantities.
The age range for blood donors is 17-65 years according to the criteria by World Health Organization WHO.
Newzad, a car technician, married and has three kids, says nothing can stop him from blood donation and responds to the calls he receives from the hospital.
“I think so far I have donated about 30 bottles of blood. Besides, my blood group is rare and can’t be obtained easily,” said Newzad who every three months donates a bottle to Kirkuk blood bank.
Hatam Mohammed, head of Kirkuk Blood Donors, said the group has 3500 members with a full database of the donors. Mohammed says they cooperate with the neibor cities as well and exchange donations once it’s necessary.
“We cooperate in emergency cases by finding blood donors and we are in touch with donors from other cities as well,”
“We cooperate in emergency cases by finding blood donors and we are in touch with donors from other cities as well,” said Mohammed.
Those who suffer from Anemia, pregnant and breast-feeding women and patients of viral diseases are illegible for blood donation.
Patients who recover from Covid-19 can donate blood plasma for Covid-19 positive critical cases to boos their immunity.
Nasrin Raouf Bag, mother for a 12-year-old girl suffers Thalassemia, says her daughter needs a bottle of blood every week.
“She suffers from heart failure so she needs a smooth and slow blood transfusion,” sobbed the mother. “She needs blood regularly so I stay with her and take good care of her to my last breath.”