32,000 people alive and well, thanks to blood donated last year

Ms Fatimah Ahmad Afandi (on minister's left), a 34-year-old exhibition guide, receives her gold award for blood donation from Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in her Storm Trooper costume during the Champion Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony on June 7, 20
Ms Fatimah Ahmad Afandi (on minister's left), a 34-year-old exhibition guide, receives her gold award for blood donation from Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in her Storm Trooper costume during the Champion Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony on June 7, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Ms Fatimah Ahmad Afandi (second from right), a 34-year-old exhibition guide, receives her gold award for blood donation from Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in her Storm Trooper costume during the Champion Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony on June 7, 201
Ms Fatimah Ahmad Afandi (second from right), a 34-year-old exhibition guide, receives her gold award for blood donation from Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in her Storm Trooper costume during the Champion Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony on June 7, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
(Left to right) Mr Chua Yew Teck, a 38-year-old real estate agent and a Champion of champions award recipient, Ms Fatimah Ahmad Afandi, a 34-year-old exhibition guide and a gold award recipient, Mdm Shanti d/o Ramalingam, a 65-year-old temporary clea
(Left to right) Mr Chua Yew Teck, a 38-year-old real estate agent and a Champion of champions award recipient, Ms Fatimah Ahmad Afandi, a 34-year-old exhibition guide and a gold award recipient, Mdm Shanti d/o Ramalingam, a 65-year-old temporary cleaner and a gold award recipient, and Mr Kua Cheng Hock (with his 11-year-old guide dog Kendra), a 59-year-old who is blind and a gold award recipient. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

There are 32,000 people who are alive and well today because they were able to receive blood last year - donated by 71,000 donors, some of whom made multiple contributions.

These champion blood donors were honoured on Saturday with awards from Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

Speaking at the World Blood Donor Day celebration by the Singapore Red Cross and the Health Sciences Authority in Sentosa, Mr Gan, a former Red Cross cadet, thanked the donors who "give blood without expecting any incentive or reward".

Click for bigger picture                                                                                                            Source: Health Sciences Authority

More such people will be needed in future, he said.

"Blood demand will continue to increase, with usage projected to rise by between 3 and 5 per cent annually over the next two decades."

To meet the demand, two more satellite donation centres will be added by 2018.

He said: "From past surveys and interactions with donors, we understand that donors greatly value convenience and accessibility."

He said the satellite centre at Dhoby Ghaut, officially opened in 2012, gets 1,600 donors a month and accounted for 18 per cent of donations last year. Youth make up a third of its donors.

Mr Tee Tua Ba, chairman of the Singapore Red Cross, said donors come from only 1.8 per cent of the population.

He said: "We have to raise this number to at least 3 per cent for a consistent and sustainable blood supply for Singapore."

His suggestion to the many donors at yesterday's event at the beach, is for each one to invite a friend or family to also give the next time they make a donation.

Calling each and every one of them a "hero", he said: "Because of your selfless giving, someone's grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling or child is alive and still able to share their fellowship."