Thai Red Cross is facing a severe shortage of blood supplies. In particular Rh negative blood is needed, which 15% of the Europeans have but only 0.3% of Asians. Since many Europeans left the country to avoid the Covid-19 lockdown, supply has dropped dramatically.
Nationwide, Thai hospitals needs 5,400 units of blood daily, but the Thai Red Cross is only getting 2,400 units a day. Currently, Thai Red Cross’ headquarters at the National Blood Center on Henri Dunant Road in Bangkok only gets 1,500 units of blood per day as opposed to their normal supply of 2,500 units daily – a 60 percent drop.
Denmark’s Chargé d’affaires Anders Lønstrup Graugaard has become involved in the efforts of assisting the Thai Red Cross by appealing widely to the foreigners, that are still left in Thailand, to go and donate blood.
“Originally, our idea was that we should host a blood donor event at the Royal Danish Embassy. A team of nurses and a blood donor bus were already booked. All would be invited to the embassy to donate blood. Paradoxically, although the COVID-19 outbreak really underlines the relevance of hosting an event like this, we had to postpone it … because of the virus!”
Anders Lønstrup Graugaard has a rare blood type AB- and has also in Denmark been active as a blood donor. On 20 May, the National Blood Centre, Thai Red Cross Society asked him if he could give blood in a special case.
“This Sunday, i helped a man who critically needed my blood type in order to survive an imminent urgent operation,” Anders Lønstrup Graugaard wrote on the Facebook page of the Embassy as an extended caption to a photo on himself in the donor chair.
The Chargé d’affaires appeals to other foreigners who are still living in Thailand to donate blood as well.
“Every donation makes a difference,” he says.
“It’s the best gift you can give – blood donations actually save lives!”
“Here is a chance to give. Here is a chance where we can all support a good cause in Thailand.” the Chargé d’affaires adds.
How to donate blood?
The main place to donate is at the Thai Red Cross Society’s National Blood Center on Henri Dunant Road, which is open from 7:30am to 7:30pm on weekdays, and 8:30am to 3:30pm on weekends and holidays. The closest MRT station is Sam Yan, or BTS Siam. Foreigners should bring their passport as an ID.
The Red Cross Station 11 at Wiset Niyom in Bang Khae area is open for blood donations from 8:30am to 7:30pm on weekdays, and 8:30am to 3:30pm on weekends and holidays. The donation center is walkable from MRT Phasi Charoen.
Other venues include Ramathibodi Hospital, Somdech Phra Pinklao Hospital, Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital, Vajira Hospital, Police General Hospital, and the Royal Thai Army Medical Department and Red Cross donation stations at The Mall branches at Bang Kapi, Ngam Wong Wan, and Bang Khae.
Blood donations outside of Bangkok are also sorely needed.
Those who recovered from COVID-19 can only donate four weeks after recovery.