Singapore’s fifth Bloodbank, Bloodbank@One Punggol, was officially opened at the One Punggol integrated community hub by Minister for Health, Mr Ong Ye Kung, yesterday. The newly opened Bloodbank@One Punggol is part of HSA’s decentralisation strategy to locate our Bloodbanks in the different regions of Singapore, close to where people live, work, study and play. The other four Bloodbanks are located at the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) building at Outram, Dhoby Ghaut Exchange, Westgate Tower in Jurong and Woodlands Civic Centre.
Bloodbank@One Punggol is strategically located to serve the communities in the north-eastern region of Singapore, which includes Punggol, Hougang, Serangoon and Sengkang. It is easily accessible due to its close proximity to public transportation networks and a range of amenities such as a hawker centre, Punggol regional library and One Punggol Community Club. With a relatively young residential demographic, it offers a strategic advantage for expanding the recruitment of youth donors, thereby ensuring the long-term sustainability of the National Blood Programme.
“Over the past five years, the demand for blood has increased by 4%, rising from 110,823 units in 2018 to 115,794 units in 2022. While we consistently strive to meet the demand for blood, there have been instances when our blood stocks dropped to low or critical levels due to low collection during long weekends and school holidays and surges in blood usage. The addition of Bloodbank@One Punggol, which can collect up to 100 units of blood daily, will increase our total blood collection capacity and contribute to the resilience of our nation’s blood supply. We look forward to the support of the residents, schools, social organisations and corporations in the north-eastern region to make this new Bloodbank a success,” said Dr Choong May Ling, Mimi, CEO, HSA.
Launch of “Adopt a Bloodbank” initiative
Yesterday, HSA and the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) also launched the ‘Adopt A Bloodbank’ initiative, aimed at cultivating a sustainable pool of regular blood donors in the vicinity of the five Bloodbanks. This initiative was piloted in 2016 with the successful adoption of the Bloodbank@Westgate by the Combat Service and Support Command (CSSCOM) and the SAF Personnel Hub in 2017. It leverages the extensive networks of community partners to promote awareness about blood donation and to recruit and retain donors. The initiative enables organisations, without the space to host blood drives, to contribute to the National Blood Programme, and thus complements the blood drives conducted by blood mobile organisers.
This year, the number of Bloodbank adopters has grown to five, with the Neo Group Ltd adopting the Bloodbank@Woodlands, and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Soka Gakkai Singapore adopting Bloodbank@One Punggol. Neo Group Ltd, SIT and Soka Gakkai Singapore received their certificates from Minister at today’s opening ceremony.
Soka Gakkai Singapore, a strong supporter of the National Blood Programme, has been working with SRC to organise annual blood drives. With this initiative, they would be able to plan more frequent centre bookings and activations to bring donors to the Bloodbank. SIT’s adoption of the Bloodbank@One Punggol, located near its upcoming Punggol campus, adds convenience for potential donors and encourages active participation within the SIT community. Through this initiative, the university aims to promote blood donation drives and mobilise its students and staff, particularly during critical periods when blood stocks run low.
“The opening of Bloodbank@One Punggol presents us with exciting opportunities to engage new partners and enhance collaborations in the life-saving cause of blood donation. Blood donation should be part of the national psyche, as it is everyone’s social responsibility. Our “Adopt A Bloodbank” initiative empowers social organisations, institutions and corporations to be part of and to own this cause. It harnesses the collective strength of our partners’ networks and resources to help ensure the success of the Bloodbanks and the National Blood Programme. We also hope this will foster a culture of regular blood donation by the growing community of blood donors,” said Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General/CEO, SRC.
Blood Buddy House Exhibition
In conjunction with the opening of Bloodbank@One Punggol, HSA and SRC have organised a Blood Buddy House exhibition at One Punggol, available from now until 11 September. The Blood Buddy House aims to instil a better understanding of the blood donation process and the kinds of food that can boost iron production, using interactive displays and hands-on activities suitable for both the young and old.
Images: Envato (header), Health Sciences Authority and Singapore Red Cross