The project aimed to raise awareness for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP), an initiative to build a register of potential bone marrow donors. Through this project, the group raised awareness of the programme to the NIE community and expanded its database and resources for patients suffering from blood-related diseases.
In order to dispel the psychological barrier that may stop the public from donating bone marrow, the group created a video, which directly addressed the fear of pain and potential side effects of donation. The collection of bone marrow was documented in a video. Subsequently, the group held an awareness week where members gave short presentations to classmates in the PGDE (Sec and JC) cohort through screening the video and giving out bookmarks and brochures on bone marrow donation. The project had two phases. In Phase 1, the team managed to collect 130 cheek swab samples. To further create awareness, Phase 2 was rolled out during the semester with expanded publicity efforts to all NIE student teachers and staff on campus.
At the end of the awareness campaign, with the support of the NIE community, 226 people signed up as potential donors. Further, the project made a lasting impact on the team. The group also encouraged future GESL groups to work with BMDP to continue with the awareness campaign at NIE, and hopefully spread the word to schools and the larger Singapore community. The group was heartened to learn that their humble efforts were a source of hope to patients.