Vietnamese college students joined Lao and Cambodian counterparts who are living and studying in Ho Chi Minh City in a blood donation program Sunday.
The program was organized to prepare a blood bank for the Lunar New Year festival (Tet) which usually comes with high rates of traffic and other accidents due to many parties. The festival this year peaks on February 19.
Khennavong Phonesoulinh, a 28-year-old student from Laos, was one of around a hundred donors to the program, which is organized by local students’ organizations and HCMC Hematology and Blood Transfusion Hospital.
Phonesoulinh told Tuoi Tre newspaper it was his first blood donation overseas.
He said he will be studying in Vietnam for a long time and will join similar programs in the future.
Pham Thi Phuong Thao, 21, was no stranger to blood donation in the city, but she said this session was more special with Lao and Cambodian participants.
“They were very friendly and helpful,” Thao said.
Around 1,500 local youths joined another blood donation program on Saturday at the Academy of Journalism and Communication in Hanoi.
Medical experts said blood shortage has become a Tet problem for years, forcing doctors to delay many surgeries.
Pham Tuan Duong, deputy head of the National Hematology and Blood Transfusion Institute, told the newspaper that several hospitals have already reported lack of blood.
Duong said the demand is high during the festival but the supply usually falls short, as students who are the prime donors would have been busy studying for first semester exams and unable to arrange a donation.