: The Kedah Health Department requires at least 1,800 pints of blood as stockpile before Ramadan.
Its director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail said the supply was necessary to cater to emergency cases such as accidents, which usually peaked towards the middle and end of the fasting month when hordes of people make the journey to their respective villages for Aidilfitri or for the holidays.
"This is a challenge for blood transfusion units across the country because based on past experience, our stockpiles can reach critical level due to increased demand coupled with the reduced number of blood donors as most people would be fasting," he told Bernama when contacted here today.
In this regard, the department is stepping up efforts to get the required amount through various programmes such as the mobile blood donation drive where teams from the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital (HSB) transfusion department would set up ''booths'' at selected premises.
In addition, a mobile blood donation unit would also be opened at mosques and shopping centres at night to enable the public to donate blood conveniently.
"In addition, the Northern Region Blood Centre (PDWU) which caters for the hospitals in Kedah and Perlis are intensifying its blood donation campaigns statewide.
"For example, the centre managed to collect 180 pints from the public of different race and age at the ''Karnival Penyayang Yayasan Sultanah Bahiyah" on May 19 and May 20," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Norhizan said the blood banks at HSB, Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (HSAH) and Tunku Fauziah Hospital in Kangar would stay open at night on certain days throughout Ramadan.
He said Muslim blood donors may also donate blood before 12noon provided they had taken sahur (pre-dawn meal), or after breaking fast.
The public can obtain further information through Facebook ''Derma Darah Kedah/Perlis'' or contact 04-7746051(PDWU), HSAH (04-4457371) or Kulim Hospital (04-4272733 extn 3123).