A significant number of persons turned up at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) yesterday (August 24) to participate in a blood drive staged by the agency, in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).
Blood Donor Organiser at the NBTS, Carol Williams emphasised that the drive was a good initiative and the amount of blood received would go a far way in saving lives.
“The Blood drive here at the JIS is helping towards alleviating the chronic shortage of blood that we have in Jamaica. Our mandate at the Blood Bank is to have 50,000 units per year and we have never accomplished that goal and the JIS is partnering with us in order to help us get closer to that goal,” she explained during an interview with JIS News.
Medical Officer at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Dr. Veronica Taylor checks the blood pressure of Accounts Receivables Officer at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Ms. Vonetta Pinnock, as she prepares to donate blood during a blood drive held on August 24 at the agency’s Head Office on Half Way Tree Road in Kingston. Approximately 80 units of blood was received.
Mrs. Williams noted that all the donors went through a five-step donation process. “When you come in you are registered by a clerk, your registration entails your demographics, your name, telephone number etc; and then you are put to the hemoglobin station where one drop of blood is taken from your finger and that is tested for your hemoglobin level and your blood type. Then you go to number three which is a one on one medical interview with the doctor who will ask you some medical history questions to ensure that you are a candidate that can give blood and then when the doctor has made up her mind from your answers, you will go on to the actual donation of the blood which is the fourth step,” she outlined. The refreshment stage is the final step.
In the meantime, donors were pleased to get a chance to help save a life. JIS Radio Producer and two-time donor, Deleen Powell said she was thrilled, and humbled to support the cause.
“I donated blood before as a student. It is a part of my civic duty to assist persons who may be in need and playing my part to help the Blood Bank because they have a chronic shortage,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Recruit, Omar Napier explained that giving blood is compulsory for him.
“I think it is a compulsory thing because I am a young recruit for the JCF. I was prompted to come here today and give a donation. I gave 500 litres.there are circumstances where persons are in need and if you qualify to give blood you could do so. It is a safe process,” he informed.
Seasoned blood donor and Public Relations Account Executive at the JIS, Warren Wint pointed out that it is a sense of achievement for him to donate blood.
“It is a sense of achievement because I give blood regularly and I know that someone will benefit from it and I will continue to give for as long as I am able,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Special Projects Manager at the JIS, Latoya Crossman, who spearheaded the initiative, pointed out that the idea for the blood drive was cenceptualised by JIS staff.
“The Blood Bank said they are short on blood and needed donors to come in so JIS staff suggested that we have a Blood Drive and we decided to take it and be a part of the national blood drive to encourage persons to come out and give blood to save lives,” she explained, while noting that the target was 100 units of blood.
Sponsors of the event included the Cake Shoppe, Industrial Sales Limited (Seprod), CariMed Limited, Wisynco Group of Companies, Coldfield Manufacturing Limited, and World Brand Services (Grace Kennedy).