Ms. Chirapha Keokhamphoui received an Australia Awards Scholarship to study Applied Science at The Canberra Institute of Technology 2001 and today is the Deputy Director, Lao Red Cross, National Blood Transfusion Center
Tell us a bit about your background?
“I come from Pakse District and graduated from Pakse High School in 1989. I studied at the University of Health Sciences in 1995 and worked at the National Blood Transfusion Center after graduating. From 2000 to 2001, I was able to complete a Diploma in Applied Science in Australia with the support of the Australia Awards Scholarships. Recently I was selected to participate in the Australia funded Women in Leadership course here in Laos.”
Today is World Blood Donor Day. Why is it important for Lao people to donate blood?
“In Laos, the National Blood Transfusion Center and Provincial Blood Transfusion Centers across the country celebrate World Blood Donor Day to thank blood donors so that the Lao people can see the importance of donating blood, encouraging Lao people to donate blood to help people in need so they can live longer. The World Health Organization has determined that at least 1 to 3% of the population of each country must donate blood for those countries to have enough blood to distribute to patients who need it. Thus, as an employee of the National Blood Transfusion Center and a blood donor, I would like to invite Lao people to donate their blood to help other people, especially those who have not donated their blood before, those who are afraid of donating blood or worry that donating blood will not be safe for their health, or those who fear infection from blood donation. Please do not fear and decide to donate blood because blood donation has strict selection protocols and is based on scientific principles. Regular blood donors have better health, as the slogan says: “The more blood you donate, the healthier you are”, so I invite the Lao people to decide to donate blood to help other people.”