TT he social isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic has also affected blood donation centers. These locations have suffered from a drop in the number of regular donors and a lack of certain blood types. To ensure that these donation centers maintain a steady blood supply, young people from Canoas, in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre, organized themselves to make a difference and bring the hope of red color to the veins of hundreds of patients.
On the 4th of July, more than 30 of them, wearing “Missão Caleb ao Extremo” project t-shirts, went to the University Hospital of the Lutheran University of Brazil (Ulbra). Blood center management explained the collection process, then donation procedures began.
“For you to have an idea of the importance of this action, an average of 60 blood bags are collected during a week. This morning we exceeded this number,” celebrates Roney Menetrir, the unit's director.
The department head explains that the need for donations varies according to blood type. Universal donors, such as O - Negative, are the biggest shortage because up to 90% of people who need a donation can use this blood type. "Our greatest need is for blood types 'O - Negative' and 'A - Positive', as people with these blood types can only receive bags of exactly the same type," he explains.
Throughout the month of July, Caleb Mission participants are challenged to take action to help and bring hope. In this pandemic context, most of these activities are focused on social and community aspects.
According to Larissa Nunes Shentali, youth director of the Mathias Velho Adventist Temple, blood donation should be one of the main missionary actions. “We like to do different types of work. We spoke to the blood bank and they informed us of the need. We quickly got our group together and brought in people able to donate. I am very happy to see young people interested in helping others and testifying to hospital staff,” she says.