By Aubrey Thom Vakhani
Muslim Youth Society (MYS) recently carried out a blood donation exercise at Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (BMTS), Mzuzu Centre
Speaking in an interview after the exercise at Mzuzu Centre, national public relations officer for MYS Allie Ahmad Dickson said that among other things, MYS wanted to give the best valuable, affordable and continuous charity could be offer to the humanity.
“When we looked into Quran 5 vs 32 we came across where Allah says: ‘……and whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity.’ That’s why we did not hesitate but go and ask MBTS if we could donate safe blood to either save lives of our needy fellow citizens or ease their health problems. Luckily, our request was accepted and from there we started mobilising Muslims in Mzuzu for the exercise,” Dickson said.
He said as Muslims, they have a great role in supplementing government effort towards all sectors, including health.
“Dead or sick citizens can’t contribute to the development of Malawi hence organized this activity as a way of supplementing to the Ministry of Health’s mission of creating an enabling environment for health promoting activities which also contribute to the Malawi Vision 2063.
Disckson further said that MYS wanted to provide public awareness to the Muslim community on the importance of blood donation as enlightened by the Quran and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad [Peace Be Upon Him].
“According to Islam, it’s very important to donate blood. It saves lives and brings ease to women with complications of pregnancy, anemic patients especially children as result of malaria and those involved in accidents that require blood transfusion. Muslim scholars unanimously agree that it is permissible,” he said.
Dickson said he was impressed with the turnup during the exercise.
“Absolutely Yes. With only six days of strategic mobilization, 92 participants turned up for the exercise. That’s a great achievement to us as a team,” he said while smiling.
Dickson said plans are put in place that MYS should be donating blood at least thrice annually.
“We would like to scale up the exercise to all Muslim communities across the country as much as the resources can allow us especially now amidst Covid-19 pandemic where we have learnt the scarcity of blood at MBTS Bloodbank due to closure of schools as a result of the pandemic,” he said.
He added: “We thank Allah who has made it possible and promised to reward everyone who saves a life. We envoke peace and blessings to Prophet Muhammad who taught the humanity to do good to others so that God does good to the doer. May Allah safeguard MYS team and the Muslim community for the commitment to supplementing government efforts.”
The MYS national public relations officer thanked MBTS Mzuzu Centre for hospitality, logistic support and wonderful service rendered prior, during and post the exercise. Looking forward to having another similar exercise soon.
In her remarks, head of centre for MBTS Mzuzu Centre, Mercy Kokha, commended MYS for the blood donation exercise saying it was timely because it helped BMTS to collect the much needed precious and life saving commodity.
“When this group came here to ask for their wish to donate blood, we were not expecting that they can manage to mobilise such a good number of people. They have done a very commendable job because the blood they have donated today will not benefit Muslims only but to everyone including non-Muslims as well. They found us when our blood banks were empty,” Kokha said.
She said Covid-19 has greatly affected MBTS in as far as blood collection is concerned.
“Most times we rely on youths who from the minimum age of 16 years who most of them are school going. We also sometimes rely on employees who work with different companies. Covid-19 has forced us failing to collect blood from those institutions because both learners and employees are learning and working on shifts respectively,” she said.
Kokha said Mzuzu Centre is ready to work hand in hand with MYS to address blood crisis MBTS is facing which has affected the entire country.
“I know that there are some people within Mzuzu who failed to come today for the exercise. If they are willing to do so, MYS can notify us and we will arrange logistics to bring them here to donate blood.
“On top of that, if MYS would like to reach out to other well wishers across northern region, we are ready to go with them wherever they will mobilise people to donate blood,” she assured.
On his part, Muslim Association of Malawi (Mam) regional secretary for the north, Hamis Lack who also donated blood on that day, also applauded MYS for the gesture and encouraged the society to continue with the initiative.
“As Mam regional office, we are delighted with what MYS has done for successfully mobilising people to donate blood. I would like to assure the grouping that our office will ensure that Muslims are encouraged to donate blood here [at MBTS] so that by the will of Allah, lives should be saved. We will support them in their activities more especially this one they have embarked on,” Lack said.
During the exercise, 46 people donated blood while others were unable to donate due health grounds such as hypertation, some were still on medical dosage and other reasons which prevent one from donating blood.
MYS was formed in 2016 and is operating across Malawi.