PROJECT LEND AN ARM

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-By: MISS EGHONGHON OKOJIE
[Medicine and Surgery, 400L]

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” -Mahatma Ghandhi

The Hamstrings Club UCH, in November partnered with the Junior Chambers International, the Red Cross UCH Detachment, the UCH Blood Bank and National Blood Transfusion Services to organize the biggest blood donation drive in recent times – Project Lend an Arm Season 2.
Season 1, the maiden edition, was last year. It took place at the University College Hospital (UCH) and witnessed more than a 100 people donating blood to the UCH Blood Bank.
Season 2 however was a two-day event. After several weeks of planning and publicity, it had a remarkable turnout. The first day was scheduled for students in the University of Ibadan and environs to donate blood while the second day, a Saturday, was for the University College Hospital (UCH) community.

Blood donation, as altruistic as it is, is quite a delicate endeavor. There are potential dangers to the blood donor as well as the health worker, hence the need for clearly defined sections to the blood donation process as well as orderliness. The setup was sequential, it included the waiting area, registration booth, the blood –letting bed then the motivation/package area.
It was a sight to behold; from the bold gaits and confident faces of the experienced donors to the anxious ones of first-timers, some even came with an entourage of supporters for encouragement. It was however encouraging how students came out of their rooms and participated in the process.

The event went smoothly, almost without a hitch, except for a couple of uncooperative veins, an occasion of occupational injury and a syncopal attack. Every of these cases were duly attended to and no serious issues were recorded following the exercise.
The project was a big success! The Clubs involved organized a 30-day Awareness Campaign in view of the project, leveraging on how successful the first edition, season 1 was. Publicity for the project ensured about 5,000 people were reached as to what the project involved and how to participate.
Estimated volunteer minutes was about 18,600, an alarming figure considering the tight schedule students run on campus. Volunteers for the project were in excess of 300. This further reveal how motivated students are in contributing to the society.

About 400 people, majorly students of the University came to the stand and 210 people eventually donated blood.
Proposed impact of the project include reduction in mortality from life threatening conditions that could be managed with blood transfusion; death from severe trauma. The project would as well reduce maternal and child mortality as well as provide blood for patients suffering from cancer.
Blood donation is so necessary especially in a country like ours where voluntary donors are scarce. Sometime, the blood banks in hospitals run out of blood and those that really needed it ended up paying with their lives. The blood donation drive aimed at averting this problem, and others.

Blood donation should be part and parcel of what we do. It should be everywhere. People should be made to realize the importance, as it is one of a few set of gifts one can give that directly and immediately has an impact on the life of the other person. It sure is a good feeling when you know what you gave saved a life!
Although the project is organized annually by the club, and the season 2 spanned two days, blood donation should be a habit. It should be an integral part of our formation, ever resonating through our subconscious.

 

Excerpt

The Hamstrings Club UCH, in November partnered with the Junior Chambers International, the Red Cross UCH Detachment, the UCH Blood Bank and National Blood Transfusion Services to organize the biggest blood donation drive in recent times – Project Lend an Arm Season 2.
Season 1, the maiden edition, was last year.

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