Blood Bank Wants More Regular Donors

Photo: JIS Photographer The mobile blood collection unit that was handed over to the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) by the United Kingdom (UK)-based Angel Foundation in January 2015.

Story Highlights

  • The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) or Blood Bank is looking to attract consistent numbers of voluntary donors as the entity seeks to meet its annual target of approximately 60,000 units.
  • Speaking in an interview with JIS News, NBTS Blood Donor Organiser, Igol Allen explained that many persons are unaware of the importance of donating blood outside of periods of emergency.
  • Mr. Allen told JIS News that the mobile unit, which has been in operation for two years, facilitates blood drives in remote areas and the NBTS stands ready to go to the donors once they indicate that they are willing.

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) or Blood Bank is looking to attract consistent numbers of voluntary donors as the entity seeks to meet its annual target of approximately 60,000 units.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, NBTS Blood Donor Organiser, Igol Allen explained that many persons are unaware of the importance of donating blood outside of periods of emergency.

“People will give when someone is sick, particularly when it is a loved one or someone connected with family or friends and once there is a need we mobilise the system to attend to the situation,” he explained.

He noted, however, that it is important to donate consistently in order to sustain the system.

“The shelf-life of blood is 35 days so we need a constant supply of donors of blood and blood products such as plasma and platelets to ensure that we always have supplies,” he told JIS News.

Mr. Allen is inviting persons to make contact with the Blood Bank  at 922-5181- 4 to make arrangements for blood drives.

In addition to the Blood Bank’s headquarters at Slipe Pen Road, there are blood collection centres across the island where donors can visit to give blood.

These are located at the Port Antonio, St. Ann’s Bay, Falmouth, Cornwall Regional, Savanna-La-Mar, Mandeville, and May Pen hospitals, which are open from Monday to Friday.

The National Chest Hospital facility on Barbican Road, St. Andrew is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays to accommodate blood donations.

Mr. Allen told JIS News that the mobile unit, which has been in operation for two years, facilitates blood drives in remote areas and the NBTS stands ready to go to the donors once they indicate that they are willing.

He had special thanks for uniformed groups such as the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which he said, have provided tremendous support to the programme through ongoing blood drives.

“We are very grateful to them for championing the cause and also to the volunteer donors, who consistently come out and give,” he said.

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