Blood shortages due to COVID-19 are prevalent across the world. In January, the American Red Cross declared “a national blood crisis” poising a great risk to patient care. In March, a US-based non-profit organisation Memorial Blood Centres (MBC) declared the blood “emergency” due to a lack of the stock of type O blood at only 1-2 day supply and appealed to the public participation in a single blood donation that can save up to three lives.
According to the Red Cross, blood is used for a variety of purposes, including serious injuries caused by accidents, surgical procedures, anaemia, childbirth, and cancer treatment. But since blood cannot be artificially produced, experts say the only solution to the blood supply lies in donating blood.
In South Korea, in cooperation with Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL), 18,000 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL participated in blood donation for two weeks from April 18th. This number was recorded as the largest group blood donation in the country.
Namsun Cho, head of the Korean Red Cross Blood Services, said, “When the impact of the Omicron reached its peak, Shincheonji Church of Jesus launched a large scale of blood donation. It was like rain during a drought. We are surprised that the number of donors exceeded 6,000 in 3 days and more people participated. We appreciate their life-saving dedication.”
“They did a really great job in the life-sharing movement. This scale is equivalent to one army corps donating blood for a year. The number of blood donors is nearly four times the number in a normal day, a great help in overcoming the current blood supply crisis,” said an official from the Blood Services.
“We also appreciate the members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus who participated in the nationwide plasma donation for the development of a treatment for COVID-19 back in 2020,” he added.
In South Korea, blood donation certificates are issued to blood donors. The certificate can be used when paying for a blood transfusion so that the transfusion fee to patients is deducted. All the donors of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL also donated their certificates to alleviate the financial burden of patients who need blood for treatment.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, headquartered in Gwacheon, South Korea, is contributing to the communities through volunteer activities including plasma and blood donations, although the church suffered greatly from the initial stage of COVID-19 pandemic.
HWPL, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a non-governmental organisation under the UN Economic and Social Council and Department of Global Communication is carrying out long-term peace projects through education, relief, and youth empowerment based on solidarity with civil society and international organisations in 193 countries.