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JIS News

The National Blood Transfusion Service’s (NBTS) 2006 collection drive moves into high gear tomorrow (March 8), with the staging of a ‘One Love One Blood Jamboree’ at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.
Members of the public are being urged to visit the venue between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to donate blood, as the Service’s offices at Slipe Pen Road will be closed.
Sandra Brown, Communication Officer at the NBTS, told JIS News that this year, the NBTS was taking a proactive approach to get more persons to donate blood. The NBTS, she said, hoped to attract as many donors as possible at the event, in order to get blood collection off to a good start this year and to “sure up supplies”.
She said that the joggers and exercise enthusiasts, who use the park, would be targeted, as well as business entities in the vicinity, some of which, have been issued invitations to participate.
“The aim is to attract all those persons practising a healthy lifestyle because in our bid to keep the blood supply safe as possible, we have to try and attract a particular calibre of donors,” she noted.
Ms. Brown also explained that the event offered an opportunity for the NBTS to build their pool of voluntary long-standing donors, as many were “getting up there in terms of age” therefore the need to keep replenishing the pool.
Commenting on blood collection so far this year, Ms. Brown acknowledged that the uniform groups, such as members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force, “have come through significantly” for the blood bank.
“We are very grateful to the uniform groups because they are the mainstay of the blood bank in terms of keeping our supplies up and so on,” she said. “We have done pretty well with them coming in to support us,” Ms. Brown added.
Meanwhile, the Communication Officer disclosed that last year, the NBTS collected less blood than the year before. She blamed the downturn on the active hurricane season, which hampered collection drives.
The ‘One Love One Blood Jamboree’ will include healthy lifestyle promotions and a lunchtime concert featuring veteran entertainer, Judy Mowatt.