THE FIFTEENTH year of the Valentine Drop of Blood campaign sponsored by the Slovak Red Cross (SČK) has achieved record success. Between February 8 and February 26, people in many Slovak cities and towns can donate blood under the motto Spolu zachránime (Together We Can Save). In Košice, a record number of 694 people had donated blood before February 15; 375 were students and 165 had donated blood for the first time, according to Lucia Cangárová of the Košice Red Cross. Slovakia’s National Transfusion Station also cooperated with SČK but Cangárová noted that it preferred holding group blood collections at schools and companies. In Dunajská Streda, Dagmar Nagyová of SČK said that they had collected 31 litres of blood from 69 people. “The idea was to spread the notion of donating blood especially among youth,” she explained.
Several government ministers took part in Bratislava and Health Minister Richard Raši served as a good example. He said he supported the idea of rewarding blood donors, but not with money – rather in some other, more symbolic way. Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, Culture Minister Marek Maďarič, Justice Minister Viera Petríková and Environment Minister Jozef Medveď also donated blood for the Valentine project. They all denied any political motives, with Maďarič saying he had already donated blood several times and Petríková saying she wanted to donate as a commemoration to her late husband who had received blood. Magdaléna Chomová of the National Transfusion Station said that people between ages 18 and 65 can donate blood if they weigh more than 50 kilograms, are fit, drink a lot of fluids and have no symptoms of illness.
22. Feb 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská