The Kuwait BMW Motorcycle Club held its 10th annual blood donation event under the patronage of the Capital Governor, Lt. General Thabet Mohammed Al Muhanna, this past weekend, hosted at the Naif Palace. The blood ride was supported by several motorcycling clubs in Kuwait along with institutions such as the Central Blood Bank and sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Kuwait.
The blood ride began at the parking lot by Safir Hotel overlooking the Gulf road, where a bevy of bikers assembled before proceeding to Naif Palace in an eye-catching convoy. Participating clubs included Kuwait BMW Motorcycle Club, Kuwait Ducati Club, Kuwait Motolady Club, Kuwait Riders, Phoenician Riders, HOG Kuwait Chapter, Dragons Kuwait, Pharaoh Bikers, Phoenix, Kuwait Motorcycle Team, Rahala Group, Rahal Group, Persian Riders, Q8couple and Lumiere Club.
Jafar Behbehani, proprietor of TriStar Motorcycles and President of the Kuwait BMW Motorcycle Club and Kuwait Ducati Club, shared, “This is the 10th annual event of blood donation organised by the KBMC and this year we joined the efforts of all the groups which is why there has been a really good turnout.”
As motorcycling has picked up exponentially in Kuwait over recent years, organizing the donation drive is an effective way to broadcast the message to the Kuwaiti public that motorcycle riders make up an active segment of society that give back to those in need, and break the stereotype of the biker as a mere thrill seeker. “Blood is a valuable gift from God and sharing it with those in need of it is the ultimate care one can give. We, as bikers, do it because we want everybody to know that we are also human and useful members of the society. Therefore, we would appreciate if car drivers who drive alongside us on the roadways of Kuwait would be a little bit more concerned and mindful of us because we are more susceptible to getting hurt”, Behbehani shared.
He continued, “Society is better served when our blood is donated to people who need it rather than being spilled on the asphalt. We always advise the bikers at these type of gatherings to be very careful on the road, to respect other vehicles, abide by the law, and heed the police officers. Most importantly a biker should respect himself or herself by making sure to wear the required safety gear and clothing, and respecting the road and all its users.”
He added that the blood ride was fortunate to be sponsored by the Governor of the Capital Governorate this year and be hosted at the historical Naif Palace which is also the seat of the Governor. He thanked the Central Blood Bank for their continued support, “We thank them because they always make the effort to see us where we are rather than we having to go to them”, and shared that the event was made possible because of the sponsorship of the CBK.
“There would be no blood without the bikers, so I am thankful for all the bikers who came out today. With every pint of blood donated, it is likely that you will save three lives who are in need of blood; there is nothing more rewarding than that”, Behbehani told the Arab Times.
Capital Governor Lt. General Thabet Mohammed Al Muhanna welcomed the participants to Naif Palace and commended their efforts towards the success of the campaign. He shared that the blood donation drive was a model that reflected the level of commitment of its participants to acts of kindness, generosity and the offering of noble services to those in need, and served as an example of the fruitful cooperation between State institutions and social activists as well as being an indicator of the social contributions and positive spirit of the promising Kuwaiti youth.
He stated that the choice of blood donation as a campaign by the organisers promoted virtues of kindness and generosity, and responded to the humanitarian obligation by extending a lifeline to the injured, those who were victims of accidents, suffering from illnesses or in need of critical care.
He thanked all the teams present for their participation and stated that apart from signifying their dedication and love for giving, the event served in educating the youth on the need to abide by traffic rules and regulations, which in turn protected lives and reduced the rate of accidents and wanton losses incurred by road users.
He expressed his gratitude to the Central Blood Bank and recognised their passion for excellence and extreme value to the Kuwaiti healthcare system. He also highlighted the contribution of the CBK in supporting the event and shared that the bank is an embodiment of social responsibility and the collaborative role of the banking sector towards sustaining cultural, health and social activities.
“I urge all citizens and expatriates to exemplify the spirit of awareness for blood donation, and promote generosity and kindness as a way of supporting those who are in a dire situation. We call on each person capable of donating blood to participate in saving other people’s lives”, he remarked.
Riders keen to donate blood had to register with officials from the Central Blood Bank who would first check them to ascertain whether the rider is a regular donor. New donors were registered just as easily through the filling of a questionnaire and an examination of temperature, pressure, haemoglobin levels and other key markers, and asked questions pertaining to their health, medications, and recent activities. Once cleared, a donation of about 477 ml was taken within a short 5-7 minute time period. The bags collected were taken to the blood bank and tested before being supplied to patients in need.
The Central Blood Bank serves as the only central supplier of blood to all hospitals, government or private, in Kuwait. The process for making a donation at the blood bank is relatively simple. After registering at the reception, a screening is conducted for every potential donor which includes a medical history questionnaire to determine the current medical state, followed by a short examination to check for haemoglobin levels and blood pressure. The doctor, after reviewing the questionnaire of the donor and the results of the test, will defer or accept the donor. The Central Blood Bank is open all days of the week, Sunday to Thursday from 7 am to 9 pm, Fridays from 1 pm to 7 pm and Saturdays from 7 am to 7 pm.
By Cinatra Fernandes
Arab Times Staff