Several activities have been organised by countries worldwide, including Jamaica, to commemorate World Blood Donor Day 2012, which will be observed on Thursday, June 14.
Themed: ‘Every Blood Donor is a Hero’, this year’s events will be used to educate persons about the importance of blood donation and to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, as well as to thank all voluntary non-remunerated donors for their life-saving contribution.
Director of Jamaica’s National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr. Angela Scott, notes that the organisation has been working ardently to ensure that it has adequate amounts of blood and blood components to meet the country’s needs.
Blood donation, she said, is needed for the urgent administration of care to victims of medical emergencies, such as accidents and surgeries. Pregnant mothers and patients with leukemia, lymphoma, haemolytic disease and severe anaemia, among others, may also require blood transfusions.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on June 6, Communications Officer of the NBTS, Mrs. Sandra Brown-Thomas, noted that World Blood Donor Day represents the climax of the Transfusion Service’s year. She said the day actually gives the NBTS, “an occasion to join with the rest of the world in recognising the contribution of voluntary donors."
Mrs. Brown-Thomas informed that a week of activities will be staged here in Jamaica, to commemorate World Blood Donor Day.
On Sunday, June 10, a thanksgiving service will be held at the St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Cross Roads, beginning at 8:00 a.m. to herald the start of the observance and, to celebrate Jamaicans and their gift of blood.
Citing the importance of blood donations, Mrs. Brown-Thomas informed that, following the church service, a blood drive will be held on the church grounds from 9:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In order to encourage voluntary blood donation and to boost collections during the week, the NBTS and its stakeholders have organised other blood drives, with the aim of collecting at least 500 units of blood from qualified participating donors.
Starting Monday (June 11), a blood drive will be held in the Air Jamaica Room at the Ministry of Health in Kingston, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. On Tuesday (June 12), the drive will be held at the Bridgemount United Church in Mandeville; on Wednesday (June 13), at the Village Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann; and on Thursday (June 14), the drive will be held at the Fontana Pharmacy in Montego Bay, St. James.
Mrs. Brown-Thomas is appealing to all Jamaicans to ‘vote for life’ by donating their gift of blood.
By Toni-Ann Russell, JIS PR Officer