Interview with Konstantin Pashkov
How did the donor day tradition begin in the Ministry of Transport?
Mikhail Vladimirovich Klyonov, vice-rector of the Russian University of Transport (MIIT) brought the idea. He proposed to held donor day at the Ministry of Transport, when he was an employee of the Administrative Department of the Ministry. As you may know, it is completely unrelated to his professional activities. We have modern, creative employees, with many interesting ideas. One of them was to launch Donor Day. This fall, we have already had the fifth Donor Day. It is held twice a year - in February and in September. In June, our employees took part in retreat, held in the building of the All-Russian Professional Union of Workers of State Institutions and Public Services of the Russian Federation. The collected blood was donated to the Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology.
How many people do regularly participate in your Donor events?
It’s not about the quantity, but about the conscious decision of each person to help. If we talk about numbers, approximately 30 people are recorded each time, due to some circumstances around 20 come, but not all of them can donate blood because of health reasons. In a result, we regularly have 10-15 donors. It should be mentioned, that the number of volunteers in the Ministry is growing steadily with every donor day. Our good tradition is gaining momentum. So, we can congratulate ourselves.
Each donor movement has its own informal leaders. Do you have such leaders and how can you describe them?
Every time we see new faces and this is nice. Of course, there are informal leaders. They are representatives of our departmental railway security and the minister’s secretariat. We are very grateful to them.
Tell us more about your Donor days.
The so-called mobile blood transfusion station comes to us. It allows to donate whole blood or its components. The station is serviced by several medical workers, they are located in the Ministry of Transport Medical Center. The work is delimitated by zones. In one, a person can relax, have tea, in the next one - a blood donor receives a memo and agrees to the procedure. In the third zone, a person is examined by a doctor to check if he or she is healthy and can be a donor. Then a small amount of blood is taken for an express check of the hemoglobin level, the number of leukocytes and platelets. The last zone is a place of donation procedure. The day of donation, as well as the day of the related medical examination, are days off for the employee. A free lunch is organized for donors in the dining room of the Ministry. Also, the donor has the right to add an extra day to vacation. I believe that this is a good incentive allowing to attract more people to this wonderful tradition.
You have your own medical center, which conducts donor events. What opportunities does it provide for donors on an ongoing basis?
The medical center is organized to provide medical care to employees of the Ministry. We do not have a stationary blood transfusion point. In general, we have a departmental medical institution to which employees of the Ministry of Transport are attached. This is the Central Clinical Hospital of Civil Aviation. In this Hospital, our employees annually undergo a medical examination, during which they check their health with a wide range of medical specialists. They also have the opportunity to add the clinic as a part of general health insurance.
What measures of support for blood donation among employees, by your opinion, are most effective?
I think adult people have an understanding that donation is a good thing. People donate blood, first of all, because they have the opportunity to help. We support them by providing the possibility to donate in the office of the Ministry of Transport. It is very convenient, no need to go anywhere. For some of them the determining factors may be social support measures: day off, free lunch, getting the badge “Honorary Donor of Russia”.
How is the donor movement developing in the transport industry? What subordinate organisations can be mentioned?
It should be said about The Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport. Together with industry universities, they take part in such events. Lokomotiv Football Club, a structure of Russian Railways also holds blood donation campaigns. Donation is developed among various railways offices in the regions. A number of Russian airports should be mentioned. The donor days were held in the air harbors of Moscow (Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo), Yekaterinburg (Koltsovo), Nizhny Novgorod (Strigino), Khabarovsk, Rostov-on-Don. A train dedicated to blood donation was launched in the Moscow metro. While citizens go to work, home, to a meeting or for business, they have the opportunity to know more about donor movement. It is a good PR-campaign. It is not a complete list of transport organizations conducting Donor Day. It is nice to know that transport workers make a significant contribution to the important undertaking!
Our traditional question: what would you wish to donors and those who are just about to join the donor movement?
I would like to say that being a donor is an honorary title, it deserves respect. I want to thank donors for their courage and for the desire to help others. To those who are going to join the donor movement, I want to say that this is noble, but not everyone can become a donor. You need to be confident in your health, in your abilities. I want to wish health and well-being to everyone, and to donors, and to those who are going to join us, and to those for whom blood is being collected. The most important is that the donation should be regular, and not urgent, it the only way to ensure a constant supply of blood components, including for victims in emergency situations. A person who donates blood regularly is a donor whose blood is the safest due to regular examination and monitoring of his health. From the group of repeatedly donating donors, a group of “personnel donors” is formed, from which a group of “urgent” reserve can be formed.
Most people know very little about donation and therefore trust the most unreasonable myths...