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Interview with Lyubov Leonova

A creative project «5 principles of safe blood donation» informs donors about various aspects of regular donation of the Blood Center of the Leningrad Region. It took the Best Booklet category in the Not to Miss the Important nomination of the Blood Service professional skill competition. Lyubov Leonova pr-manager of the Blood center answered the questions about this project.

Tell us about the "5 principles of safe blood donation" project. How did this idea come about?

Recently, World Patient Safety Day has been celebrated in our country. As part of this event, some events are carried out aimed at drawing public attention to the topic of safe medical care. As you know, donors are a separate independent link in the health care system. But, unfortunately, the issues of the safety of blood donation were not covered in the framework of the events being held. We decided to use this opportunity - to become the first and publish the booklet "5 principles of safe blood donation". The goal of the project is to raise donors' awareness of a responsible attitude to their health.

At the same time, there was a significant decline in donor activity associated with the Covid-19 pandemic in our region, as well as throughout the country. We tried to use all kinds of news feeds to maximize attention and popularize the donation of blood and its components. The created booklet was intended to solve these problems as well.

How was the project implemented?

During this difficult period, we worked on another project to create an organized donor asset in our region. In the course of its implementation, a need arose for a tool that could increase the level of knowledge about donation, arouse further interest and attract the target audience of the project to interact with us. We urgently needed bright, interesting printing materials. The booklet "5 principles of safe blood donation" fully met the tasks set. It became an integral part of a larger and socially significant project to involve young people in active participation in the donor movement.

With COVID-19, the safety of patients and donors has become more relevant than ever. Was the project finalized, strengthened because of coronavirus infection?

We created our booklet in the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 was a hot topic. The vector of public attention has shifted towards this event, and talk about blood donation has become much less common. That is why we have made the decision not to mention the coronavirus in our brochure, so as not to add tension to the already overloaded information field. We have outlined the general principles of the safety of donation of blood and components, which are relevant now, in a "pandemic" reality, and will remain after.

The presentation of the booklet was accompanied by several events. Tell us about this part of the project. Which of the actions caused the biggest response from the audience? What did the participants say?

We did not stop only at the stage of creating the booklet as informational material. The booklet fits perfectly as a tool for native advertising of donation among active youth in the region. The information in the brochure is presented in a fact-checking format, and you like to share it. Therefore, everyone who took the booklet and told interesting facts about a donation to their loved ones helps in the implementation of our main task - the popularization of blood donation and, to some extent, is a member of our teams.

At the venues of city-wide and regional festivals dedicated to physical culture, sports and a healthy lifestyle, as well as volunteering events, we conducted a show-game quiz "Heroes Become". The game was conducted in an interactive format and enjoyed great success among the participants. Based on the knowledge gained from the booklet, the guys refuted the myths about donation, showed their creative abilities, developing social advertising projects, which later received resonance in the regional media.

We can say that participation in our events made it possible for active youth to show their leadership qualities, to act as an organizer of regional projects, to feel their involvement in the donor movement of the region. I would like to note that very creative, ambitious and talented guys live in our region.

What results did you get from the project? What was the social effect?

Our task is to popularize a healthy lifestyle among the youth of the Leningrad Region, to draw attention to the issues of responsibility for their health, to stimulate interest and involvement in the topic of donating blood and its components. We continue to work actively in this direction.

More specifically, we are witnessing a significant decrease in the rates of milky-white rejects and the number of medical withdrawals among donors, they have begun to take a more responsible approach to prepare for blood supply.

How will you develop this project further?

The project has shown its effectiveness, and we continue to implement it, preparing new events. The topic of security is always relevant and finds a great response among young people and donors.

And our traditional question: what would you wish to donors and people, who are going to join the donor program?

We are proud of everyone who has made or will only ever make a decision to be a donor! Thank you for your kind hearts and for the fact that you regularly do a great deed - share your blood. You can do whatever you want in life, but giving people a chance to live is the greatest gift!

We wish you good luck in all your noble deeds and, most importantly, good donor health. May the joy, love and kindness given to others return to everyone, multiplying many times!

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