A British Muslim charity broke the world record for the most blood donations in one day, months after the NHS urged more donors to come forward.
The volunteer-run world record effort was led in August by Who is Hussaina social justice charity that has partnered with NHS Blood and Transplant, as well as the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign, one of the oldest Muslim blood donation organizations in the country.
As part of the campaign, called #GlobalBloodHeroes, blood donation centers across the UK – and dozens of other centers in 27 countries including Argentina, Iraq and Thailand – have collected blood from over 37,000 people. The donations began in a center in New Zealand and ended in the United States.
“The pandemic has hit blood reserves hard around the world. With hospitals struggling to meet the demands. Who Is Hussain volunteers gathered together and launched our Global Blood Heroes campaign, ”said Muntazir Rai, the director of the charity.
“Giving blood is a universal act of compassion that can unite people around the world – we all bleed the same way,” he added. “We are so excited that so many first-time donors have come forward and many have pledged to donate again and will continue, hopefully, for years to come.”
Authenticated by official world records, the total number of blood donations was 37,018, beating the previous record of 34,723 set in 2020.
A donation can help save or improve the lives of up to three people, according to NHS Blood and Transplant, which means more than 110,000 lives could be saved or improved by the UK charity’s efforts.
Blood donations from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) communities in the UK are particularly lacking. According to the NHS, people of BAME origin are more likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, and some forms of hepatitis than whites.
Last year, less than 6% of NHS blood donors in the UK came from people from BAME backgrounds.
In June, the NHS announced that 1 million new blood donors would be needed over the next five years so that patients could receive the right type of blood, as blood donors and recipients of the same ethnic origin are more likely. match.
The NHS said there was a particular need for more black African and black Caribbean donors to treat people with sickle cell anemia, the rapidly growing genetic blood disease in the UK that primarily affects people of black descent.
The #GlobalBloodHeroes campaign has gained the support of high-profile figures, including LBC James O’Brien and Naz Shah of Labor.
A large number of first-time donors took part in the campaign, with 25% of UK donors donating blood for the first time, the charity confirmed, adding that the campaign was particularly successful. in encouraging BAME donors to come forward.
Related: A British Muslim charity seeking to break blood donation records in one day
The world record attempt coincided with Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, particularly significant for Muslims commemorating the legacy of Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who was massacred with his family 1,400 years ago after refusing to donate. loyalty to a corrupt leader trying to succeed his father.
“It is incredible to think that the selfless altruism of this man, who lived more than a thousand years ago, has inspired more than 37,000 people to participate in the largest blood collection in history,” added Rai.