Kenyan peacekeepers donate blood in South Sudan's Northern Bahr El-Ghazal state
NAIROBI, Kenya, June 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In what has become a regular tradition, UNMISS Kenyan Battalion peacekeepers donated blood to children and pregnant women at Aweil Civil Hospital today.
Some 14 soldiers participated in the current exercise in Northern Bahr El-Ghazal State. More than 40 Kenyans have donated blood to the same hospital between January and March this year.
“We usually do this as charity … because we are brothers and sisters,” said Kenyan laboratory technologist Enoch Torotich. “I urge everyone (to) visit (a) health facility, know your blood level and donate blood to save lives.”
He urged the local population to donate blood as well, saying that donors would become their “brothers' keepers”.
The blood donation exercise in Aweil comes just ahead of the tenth anniversary of World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated on 14 June every year.
The day is commemorated to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and its products and to thank voluntary donors, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
With the slogan “Give the gift of life: donate blood”, this year's campaign will focus on the value of donated blood in saving lives and also helping people live longer and more productively, according to the WHO website.
Kenya has more than 700 peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan at this time.