Hospital data Europe-wide shows that blood donations decrease by 10% in the month of August when demand actually increases, particularly in tourist destinations such as the Algarve, said the President of the Blood Institute in Portugal (IPS).
In a bid to raise awareness among youngsters about the importance of becoming a blood donor, the IPS has launched a new campaign entitled ‘Dador-Salvador’ (Donor-Saviour).
The campaign appeals particularly to youngsters in the Algarve, a region that sees its population rise drastically in the summer leading to an increase in demand.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Faro last week, Álvaro Beleza, the president of the IPS, said youngsters, or the ‘Facebook generation’ as he called them, needed to leave their computers for a while and visit a local hospital to give blood.
In Portugal, there are currently 500,000 blood donors, with the average age being 40-50.
The IPS president said: “Youngsters often claim for their rights but they shouldn’t forget that they also have duties. Giving blood is one of them.”
As part of the campaign, volunteers will be visiting Monte Gordo and Quarteira beaches to inform bathers of the importance of donating blood.
To give blood, potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 65, or 60 years old if giving blood for the first time, as well as weighing a minimum of 50kg and not suffer from chronic illnesses. Men can give blood every three months and women every four months.
If you would like to donate blood, please visit your local hospital.