POST TIME: 4 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 November, 2019 12:38:16 AM
Encourage eyes and blood donation

Encourage eyes and blood donation

While many educated and progressive minded people in Bangladesh donate their eyes posthumously, there are countless who are bound by a set of rigid notions and feel that donating body parts after death is tantamount to sacrilege. However, such notions need to be discarded because by donating eyes and other parts, which can help living persons with ailments live better, the core values of humanity can be served. In the same manner, donating of blood has to be popularized too, especially among the young. There is a misconception, sometimes propagated and reinforced by those harbouring bigoted ideas, that by donating blood, a person becomes weak.  Nothing can be furthest from the truth because when blood is donated, new cells develop, which contribute to healthy physical format. The country faced a high demand for blood during the dengue epidemic and since doctors have warned that the mosquito-borne disease is an all the year round threat, blood collection should also be carried out throughout the year. But first, we need to overcome the unnecessary fear or phobia that people have over blood or eye donation. In the cities, many donate blood voluntarily; campaigns have to be carried out in the villages so people feel a desire to come forward to donate blood.

To popularise such acts, incentives may also be given and rural schools can be set up with blood donation programmes, intertwined with maternal health plus family planning sessions. At the same time, posthumous donation of eyes needs to be encouraged, with help from religious clerics and village moulanas. The main impediment to donating body parts after death is the feeling among relatives of the deceased that such acts defile the sanctity of the dead person. Many educated people also avoid handing over their eyes feeling that this is forbidden by religion.

People need to be made aware that once the eyes are given, they can provide vision for another human being – a humane act which carries all the benevolent virtues taught to us by faith. To make blood and eye donation a success the wholehearted support from the community of imams is essential. The government can rope in the ministry of religious affairs to take the programmes into madrasas and mosques.