OFWs in Dubai donate blood for cancer patients

By Angel L. Tesorero, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Feb 15 2011 12:14 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2011 08:14 PM

DUBAI, UAE – To celebrate love this month of February and as an expression of concern for others, around 50 Filipino migrant workers donated blood for cancer patients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Al Wasl Hospital recently.
Dubbed “Donate Blood; Save Life,” the project was spearheaded by Alpha Phi Omega - UAE Alumni Association (APO-UAE) and supported by Migrante International-UAE, Sigma Rho fraternity and other members of the Filipino Community in Dubai.
According to Nick Atienza, vice-president for internal affairs of APO-UAE, their group has been conducting blood-letting projects for the past four years as a show of gratitude to their host country and to demonstrate that Filipinos are always ready to help those who are in need.
“Lagi naming ginagawa ang ganitong pagserbisyo sa tao – ang pag-donate ng dugo. Kahit sa Pilipinas pa, bago pa kami nakarating dito – ang APO, ganito rin ang ginagawa. We organize ourselves and we go to the hospitals to donate our blood,” Atienza said.
The beneficiaries of the project are the Blood Donation Center under the Dubai Health Authority and patients at the Genetic and Thalassemia Center in Al Wasl Hospital.
Many people in the Middle East are affected by thalassemia, a blood disorder passed down through families characterized by an abnormal production of hemoglobin which leads to anemia. This disease can be treated through blood transfusion.
Employees at the Al Wasl Hospital were grateful to the Filipinos, as on the day of the bloodletting project itself, four donors contributed blood platelets for an emergency need of one cancer patient.
Atienza called on other migrant Filipinos to participate in this worthwhile project. “Sana po ay dumami pa tayo sa susunod na taon at ito po ay patuloy nating gagawin,” he said.