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When disaster strikes, citizens are quick to respond to calls for blood donations. But it's when things are calm that blood banks get empty, say hospitals and charities working to bring about a culture of voluntary donations in Lebanon. Throughout the rest of the year, however, there aren't nearly enough regular donations for those in need. Teyrouz blames this phenomenon on the outdated "replacement system" relied on in Lebanon and most of the developing world, which involves hospitals asking patients in need to solicit donations from friends and family in order to keep blood stocks replenished, sometimes putting undue pressure on the patient's family. Rita Feghali, a doctor at Rafik Hariri University Hospital, was so frustrated with the way blood donations were done in the country that in 2011 she set up the National Committee of Blood Transfusions in the hope of improving the process.For Feghali, it would be an accomplishment for Lebanon to have just 10 percent of donations done on a volunteer basis by the deadline in six years.Like everything else these days in Lebanon, however, if the problem can't be solved through public institutions then there's an app for it.
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