Youth Makes a Positive Difference Through Blood Donation

In commemoration of World Blood Donor Day, we pay tribute to the Champion Blood Donors who have selflessly embraced regular blood donations as a part of their lifestyles. 

Youthphoria Award recipient at World Blood Donor Day 2024, Dahliah binte Abdul Aziz shares her personal experience as a youth blood donor. Inspired by her senior, Dahliah embarked on her blood donation journey when she turned 18 in 2016. She has been a dedicated donor for the past eight years, regularly contributing to the betterment of society. She calls for more people, especially the youth, to step forward to incorporate regular blood donations as part of their lifestyles.

Despite Being Young, I Want To Donate Blood To Save Lives 

Inspired by a senior at Nanyang Polytechnic, a blood donor, Dahliah first donated blood when she was 18. Her senior accompanied her to Bloodbank@Dhoby Ghaut for her maiden blood donation. 

"I was afraid of needles but she assured me it would be alright," said Dahliah. 

Dahliah's first experience donating blood convinced her that her fear of needles was unfounded and believes blood donation is a compelling way to save lives and give back to society.

“Several patients rely on blood donations for survival. There’s always someone in need of blood. It is crucial to donate blood. I want to donate blood as much as I can, while I am still young and healthy. Why not donate?” she said. 

Her motivation stems from the concern that her ability to donate blood may be stymied by medical conditions that may arise as she ages. 

Dedicated to the lifesaving cause of blood donation, Dahliah embraces a varied approach to ensure she can donate blood regularly. As good health is indispensable for blood donation, Dahliah conscientiously ensures that her health is maintained and primed at an optimal condition for blood donation. 

Besides maintaining good health, Dahliah also schedules her blood donations in advance, often setting reminders and alarms to stay organised amid her hectic schedule. Her commitment to preparing herself physically and mentally before each blood donation extends beyond personal convenience. It reflects her deep-seated conviction of the importance of contributing to the blood supply. 

“The ability to proceed with the blood donation after the pre-checks is a reward itself," she said.

Recognised for Her Tireless Contributions

Her dedication and tireless efforts towards the noble cause of blood donation have made a significant impact, saving countless lives.

Dahliah's contributions were recognised at this year's World Blood Donor Day 2024, where she received the YOUTHphoria Award for making more than 20 blood donations before turning 25. 

“I feel honoured to receive the medal. As a youth in Singapore, I feel that I should always play a part in contributing to society,” she said.

Overcoming the Fear of Needles

Dahliah understands that the fear of needles may deter potential blood donors from stepping forward as she used to be in the same position when she was younger. 

“I used to be fearful of needles. But blood donation is not as intimidating as it appears. The application of the anaesthetic makes the blood donation process painless," said Dahliah, addressing her peers' fear of needles.

After overcoming her fear of needles, Dahlia has encouraged her friends to come forward to donate blood and explain to them the painless process and importance of donating blood in Singapore’s ageing society. 

Calling for More Blood Donors

In Singapore, only 1.8 percent of the population are blood donors, which means a small group of people are meeting the blood needs of the entire country. This is a concern because the ageing population may reduce the number of eligible blood donors. Additionally, only 15 percent of blood donors are young people, which poses a challenge in ensuring sustainable blood supplies to meet the country’s needs.

"As a youth, we can play an active role as blood donors. We never know if we may become a blood recipient one day. By donating blood, you will gain a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in the knowledge that you positively impact someone's life," Dahliah said. 

Promoting a Sense of Social Responsibility Among the Youth

Blood donation reinforces the spirit of altruism and compassion while promoting a sense of social responsibility among the youth. 

"By donating blood, I strive to cultivate a sense of civic duty and compassion among the younger generation. This builds a foundation for a healthier and more caring society," Dahliah said. 

Dahliah also observed that certain blood types are rarer than others. Every blood donation is vital, particularly for individuals with rare blood types who rely on blood donors' contributions to sustain their well-being. 

“There is no harm in giving back to society. Blood donors with rare blood types help those who could not receive most of the main blood types," she mentioned. 

Blood Donation is a Community Responsibility

The small pool of youth donors in Singapore has to be addressed swiftly by championing blood donation among youth. Youth participation in blood donation is not just a health imperative but a community responsibility, ensuring that Singapore has adequate blood supplies to meet the national needs

Dahliah embodies compassion and selflessness. Her story highlights the extraordinary impact of ordinary individuals. As we commemorated World Blood Donor Day in June, we celebrated unsung heroes like Dahliah, whose quiet acts of kindness save lives and sustain our community. Her blood donation journey underscores the role that everyone can play, in contributing to this noble cause; whether by donating blood or advocating about blood donation. 

In a world that often feels divided, simple acts of donating blood and encouraging others to do the same remind us of our shared humanity and the power of compassion. Your blood donation could be the lifeline someone desperately needs. When we champion blood donation in our network, we can make a significant difference.

By Cherie Aw Yuet Yin, Intern, Blood Donor Programme
Copyedited by Sondra Foo, Marketing & Communications

Inspired? Donate blood.