JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has made another appeal for Jamaicans, who are healthy and able, to donate blood at any collection centre, or the Blood Bank in Kingston.
The Minister’s plea comes as the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is now in a better position to accommodate increased blood collections, with Food for the Poor’s donation of 6,825 blood bags on Friday (November 27).
Recently, it was highlighted in the media that there was a shortage of blood bags at the NBTS. However, the Ministry has since received thousands of bags, from a number of sources, critically improving the situation.
Speaking at the official handing over ceremony at Food for the Poor’s Spanish Town office, St. Catherine, Mr. Spencer noted that there is always a need for blood, as collections tend to fall below target.
“It is no secret that we have had a long history of experiencing a shortage of blood in the country. Annual collections average 25,000 pints, which is below the targeted amount of 50,000-80,000 pints,” he said.
He noted that, mainly during the Christmas season, there is normally a greater need for blood, due to an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents.
“While I implore our motorists and pedestrians to use our streets cautiously to reduce the possibility of traffic accidents, we also urge everyone to take the time and the effort to donate a pint of blood to save a life,” the Minister pleaded.
Persons wishing to donate blood can visit the collection centres at the University Hospital of the West Indies, National Chest Hospital and the Blood Bank in Kingston; Mandeville Hospital in Manchester; May Pen Hospital, Clarendon; Port Antonio Hospital, Portland; Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, Westmoreland; and Cornwall Regional Hospital, St. James.
During the ceremony, Food for the Poor also handed over 60 suction machines, which are used in the wards and operating theatres for aspirating fluids from the mouth and airways. The gifts cost a total of US$61,624, or close to $5.5million.

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