Blood Type Awareness at IIUI, Islamabad

A group of Pakistan Relief volunteers at int. Islamic University, Islamabad welcomed the New Year in a unique way.  They arranged a program to create awareness of Blood Type on 1st January 2009.

Its very important for every human being to know of his or her own blood type. Unfortunately, in Pakistan the majority of the population is unaware of their blood groups. Such ignorance increases the vulnerability of the casualty during emergencies as well as reduces the number of the blood donors.

The PRIDEA- prepared some informative stuff as well to let students know of the history of blood typing, efforts of the scientists and the research institutions. A teasing streamer, with the wording – “Do you know of Karl Landsteiner ?” had been placed at the main entrance of the university campus on 29th Dec. 08.  This helped us creating curiosity across the university campus.  Students searched on the internet and read about Karl Landsteiner and the related articles.

The activity started at 09:30 a.m. and continued without any pause till 04:00 p.m. There were so many students gathered that we needed to distribute the coupons to maintain discipline. The students and other staff members of the university remained present near our camp to wait for their turn. They were not only eager to know of their blood type but several amongst them offered us that we can call them for blood donation in case of any emergency. A number of students got enrolled to the First Aid Training program and applied for the membership as well.

We intend to create a culture in Pakistan even everywhere else to motivate people getting aware of such important issues as a part of our struggle for laying the solid foundations of a broader, effective and efficient mechanism of Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Response at all levels. We hope such basic education will help saving lives- precious than anything else in the world.

Born in 1868, Karl Landsteiner, the son of a prominent Viennese journalist, was educated at the University of Vienna, where he obtained his MD in 1891. After studying chemistry in Germany under Emil Fischer and in Switzerland under the German chemist Arthur Hantzsch, Landsteiner returned to the University of Vienna to work as a pathologist, serving as professor Pathology from 1911 to 1919. He then spent a couple of years in Holland before moving to America, where he took up an appointment with the Rockefeller Institute, New York, in 1922, remaining there until his death.

 In 1902 Landsteiner announced one of the major medical discoveries of the century, that of the ABO Blood Group System. He died in 1943 but will be remembered forever.

Prior to this event a seminar on “Disaster Management” had already been conducted at the women campus. Dr. Shaban Kirmani, Head of the Department of Management Sciences addressed the students and faculty members and appreciated the organisers of program for educating their fellows of an important issue. She further admired the efforts of Pakistan Relief and PRIDEA and assured of her cooperation for such a noble cause.