118,000 donations made at Blood Bank last year, up from 66,000 ten years ago

Blood donations through the National Blood Programme run by the Singapore Red Cross and the Blood Services Group of the Health Sciences Authority almost doubled over the last decade.

There were about 118,000 donations made last year, compared to just 66,000 ten years ago.

On Saturday, Starblaze, a new champion for blood donation among youth was unveiled at the National Blood Programme's celebration of the 10th World Blood Donor Day, which falls on June 14.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, who was guest of honour at the event, said: "All good habits should be cultivated from a young age and there is no deed more heroic than regular blood donation."

Everyday, 400 units of blood are needed by all hospitals here for patients requiring blood transfusions for a variety of reasons such as leukemia, haemophilia, and bleeding disorders.

Last year, 32 per cent of regular donors were youths aged 25 and below and the Singapore Red Cross wants to increase the proportion to 35 per cent by 2014.

Some 1,500 individuals and mobile blood donation organisers were recognised during the event.

A microsite, called the Red Cross Connection, http://connect.redcross.sg/ was also launched. It gives real-time updates on the blood bank's requirements and needs for specific blood types.