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Dozens of young people mobilize to supply blood banks in Rio de Janeiro


Pandemic and social isolation brought deficits to the stock, which compromises service to those in need

June 20, 2020
/ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
/ Fabiana Lopes and adviser to the Blood Bank Santa Teresa (Petrópolis)

Dozens of young people mobilize to supply blood banks in Rio de Janeiro

Rafael Fonseca (ahead) was the one who organized the blood donation among the young people of Magé, Duque de Caxias and Guapimirim. They donated on June 13, the eve of World Blood Donor Day [Photo Courtesy of the South American Division]

Blood donations in Rio de Janeiro fell by 60 percent in April, at the beginning of the pandemic, according to the National Cancer Institute (INCA). This is the fourth year of decline in the number of donations in Brazil. In 2019, there was a 2.5% decrease in the number of blood bags collected across the country.

For this reason, the Ministry of Health launched on the 12th the campaign “Be supportive. Donate blood. Donating is an act of love ”  to reinforce the importance of maintaining blood supplies for emergency care, major surgery and treatment of people with chronic diseases.

On June 13, approximately 73 young people from the municipalities of Magé, Guapimirim and Duque de Caxias, in Rio de Janeiro, donated blood on the eve of World Blood Donor Day, at the Blood Bank of Hospital Santa Teresa, in Petrópolis, mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro.

The action is part of the Life for Lives project , of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary. The project takes place throughout the year and since the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic, more than 180 young people from Rio de Janeiro have already participated in the action, thus supplying blood banks throughout the central and mountainous regions of Rio.

The youth action was highlighted in the Revista Novo Tempo program on June 15th:

According to Pastor Robson Pereira, youth leader of the Adventist Church in the central region of the state, the campaign is repeated every year. Altogether, there are eight sub-regions covering neighborhoods and municipalities in Rio de Janeiro that make donations from March to October. “Youth feel fulfilled and useful in helping and serving others. It is a privilege to be able to donate a little of yourself. This strengthens your life values. After all, relieving the pain of those who are beside us is the typical mission of those who truly want to follow the example of Jesus Christ ”, says Pereira.

Who mobilized the volunteers for this action was the technical assistant of civil engineering, Rafael Fonseca, who assists in the youth leadership of this sub-region. He made contact with the Santa Teresa Blood Bank, which offers the van service to search for donors. In all, six vans made the journey between the locations, with an hour and a half difference between each one, to avoid crowds at the location.

Those who needs blood can’t wait

Bruna dos Santos Matos has been a donor for eight months, but was prevented from donating to her own father, Juareis Pereira de Matos, who was admitted 24 days ago because of Covid-19 at Hospital Santa Teresa. For her, the gesture of these young people is a true demonstration of love. “Whoever needs blood needs it now, they cannot wait. These young people represent humanity, love, faith, hope. I have no way of defining this gesture in one word ”, describes Bruna.

National Campaign Red June warns of risk of lack of blood

During the winter season, people often donate less blood to avoid leaving home. Due to the pandemic situation and social isolation, this situation worsened. For this reason, Blood Banks in general have their stocks in critical condition, operating with deficits that exceed the mark of 50% of their capacity.

“In this period when respiratory diseases are on the rise, we run the risk of running out of blood for hospital patients who need transfusions and other procedures. We urgently call on donors of all blood types to support this cause and appear at the Santa Teresa Blood Bank. This gesture saves many lives ”, says Vinicius Pereira, a fundraiser at the Banco de Sangue Santa Teresa.

This alert to the population coincides with the Junho Vermelho campaign, a national mobilization, alluding to the color of blood, which aims to raise awareness in society about the importance of the solidarity gesture of donating blood, especially at this time of year. In this edition, its importance assumes an even greater role due to the moment that the country faces.

“People are afraid to leave the house to donate blood. But they need to know that we are taking all the security and protection measures. And that blood, in many cases, is the only life expectancy, for which there is no substitute ”, points out Pereira.


This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site


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