- 15 Mar 2016
If women can claim equality in all things, we must play our part here too!
When Rotary Club of Cochin Milan, the only all Women Rotary Club in Kerala, found out that in India, women use 40% of donated blood, but contribute a mere 2% as donors, we decided to take this up as a challenge and make it one our special initiatives! Worldwide, donation rates by women stay between 2 and 10%, due to many myths and taboos that surround them even though healthy women can donate 3-4 times a year. Such an initiative maybe the first of its kind in Kerala, and possibly India. There are around thirty five Rotary clubs in the region and the Rotary Club of Cochin Milan is the only one with just women. Rotary clubs can choose any given name which is why Milan, to denote a gathering, was added to the title.
Setting ourselves a goal of 20% by 2020, we began by conducting a Blood Donation Drive on Woman's Day, March 8th, 2016 at IMA blood Bank on TD Road. The drive is especially targeting women between the age of 25 to 50, as an under-tapped population for this precious resource. The Commissioner of Police, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Mrs. Nishanthini inaugurated the drive.
Without a doubt, we had quite a successful beginning to our 5-year long campaign! From nearly 60+ donors, male and female, 44 donated and out of which 30 were women! The numbers may seem small, at IMA for eg. they had an average of 33 donors per day in February i.e. 961 donors of which only 23 were women, less than 2.5%.
Whereas, our women donation rate was 68%!!! Many were first-time donors from our target group and now will be repeating donors for sure! With growing awareness of the need for blood and the simplicity and ease of giving, we women can play a huge role in this scenario. Our campaign will continue for the next 5 years until the rate of donation by women becomes a steady 20% at least. To ensure this, regular donation drives will be done with the next one already planned for, on WHO - World Blood Donor Day on June 14th.
After all, if women can claim equality in all things, we must play our part here too!
Text : Roshna Firoz Photos : Rotary Club of Cochin Milan