Church members of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Solomon Islands recently donated to the low level of the Blood Bank at National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara.
It is customary for people to donate blood to assist only their close family members in times of a medical emergency.
But Self- Reliance Centre Coordinator of the church Elder David William Nish said donating on behalf of strangers was out of many donors’ comfort zones to fill the blood bank Unit of National Referral Hospital patients.
Nish said in December last year a Solomon Islander Latter-day Saint became gravely ill and was in desperate need of a blood transfusion but there was no matching blood available in Honiara.
He said a recent newspaper appeal in the Solomon Star for blood donors was answered by local members of the Church who stepped forward to donate to the blood bank.
Nish said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionaries and President Matthew Sauseru with some of his members were part of those who donated blood.
“Despite their apprehension, many units were donated for general emergency use in the hospital, the patient received her necessary blood transfusion and together with many prayers and blessings, was delivered of a beautiful baby,” Nish said.
He said president Sauseru, the leader of the local Latter-day Saint congregation, viewed the incident as an opportunity to not only assist both the community and an individual, but also a teaching moment for all members of the Church.
He said Sauseru encouraged and promoted the concept of donation of blood for general use, the spirit of service to our fellow beings in times of need and the moral obligation to respond to pleas of assistance.
Nish said Red Cross set up their portable blood donor station for the blood drive at the Latter-day Saints’ Honiara meetinghouse.
When asked why he decided to donate blood, David Ifuna’au smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
“It was easy after the small prick of the needle.”