Rotary Club of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, District 3350, has adopted the French Rotary blood drive logo and motto My Blood for Others (Mon Sang Pour Les Autres) - the name of the national Rotary blood donation campaign that now includes more than 50 cities in France. The club has held its first blood drive in co-operation with the National Blood Transfusion Center and hopes to see a partnership develop that will be able to address "the acute voluntary blood donation crisis situation in Cambodia."
The inspiration to adopt the French Rotary blood challenge is a result of a visit to the club by the French cyclist Julien Leblay, a former Rotaractor, and his wife, Marion, who are touring the world on their bikes to promote voluntary blood donation - and are visiting Rotary clubs along their way.   Their current tour started in France in July 2010, and they plan to reach Auckland, New Zealand, in September 2011 for the Rugby World Cup.   The Phnom Penh RC, one of two Rotary clubs in the Cambodian capital, organized its first blood drive in May in co-operation with The National Blood Transfusion Center (NBTC). The kick-off was highlighted by the visit of the two blood drive cyclists.   Dr. Fil B. Tabayoyong , who is a member of the club's Community Service Committee, expects that the partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Center, will result in a close partnership "to address the acute voluntary blood donation crisis situation in Cambodia." The Transfusion Center is a government institution under the Ministry of Health.   "Rotary Club of Phnom Penh will suggest a plan for how to effectively pursue its vision to assist the National Blood Transfusion Center to achieve its annual target of collecting 60,000 units of blood - hopefully from voluntary blood donors," he says.   Another of the club's driving forces, the 2010-11 President, Dr. Eric Mousset, points out, that "our club's management capacity is still relatively modest, and somewhat under dimensioned with regard to the extent of community needs . and the number of ongoing partnerships with international clubs."   Rotary Club of Phnom Penh has about 20 members.   The Phnom Penh Rotary Club also partnered with the National Blood Transfusion Center in celebrating World Blood Donor Day, June 14.   Held at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, the event was attended by more than a thousand people, mostly university students, committed to non-remunerated blood donation.   The Cambodian Minister of Health, Dr. Mam Bunheng, used the opportunity to donate blood himself, as an example, emphasizing the theme of the global blood donor day 2011, More Blood, More Lives.   In advance of the World Blood Donor Day, the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh  actively collaborated with the National Blood Transfusion Center in mobilizing potential blood donors among university students, the health NGO and faith-based organizations, private employees and professionals.    The World Blood Day in Cambodia was well covered by the media.   The following day, June 15, the Prime Minister "strongly advocated that the voluntary blood donor program campaign will be made as one of the priority public health programs of the government," Fil B. Tabayoyong tells GNBD.   The Community Service Committee member gives special credit to the Director of the transfusion center, Dr. HokKim Cheng, as being "very pro-active in leading and guiding Rotarians and volunteer blood donors on the significance of giving one's blood to save precious lives."   Dr. Hok Kim Cheng told the World Blood Donor event that only 3 out of 1,000 people donate blood in Cambodia. This still is low if compared with other developing countries where the blood donation rate is up to 5 among 1,000 people.   Before the end of the year, a National Committee on Voluntary Blood Donation Program will be organized, including both the public and private sector "to drum up creative initiatives and strategies to have continuous safe, available and healthy blood in Cambodia," Dr. Fil B. Tabayoyong, member of the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh Community Service Committee, says.   The annual target of Cambodia in terms of meeting the blood requirements of the entire country is 60,000 units of donor blood. The country has an estimated population of over 14.8 million people.   My Blood for Others (Mon Sang Pour Les Autres) was founded in 1998 by Rotarian Jean-Claude Brocart, Toulouse, France, who later became District Governor of D-1700 and now serves as the network's national coordinator. Jean-Claude Brocart is also a member of the Board of Directors for Global Network for Blood Donation, a Rotarian Action Group (GNBD).   Footnotes:   CONTACT: Dr. Fil B. Tabayoyong   The French cyclist Julien Leblay reports on his current tour at the website