As the nation recognised World Blood Donor Day today (June 14), the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) added two male blood donors, Mark Redwood and Franklin White, to its honour role of persons who have donated 50 units or more of blood.
Annually, the facility recognises persons who have surpassed the goal of 50 units.
Both men were awarded at the offices of the National Blood Transfusion Service, located along Slipe Pen Road in Kingston.
State Minister for Health and Wellness, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, joined with the NBTS to honour the men for their significant contribution to health and wellness in Jamaica, based on their donations.
She also celebrated with other donors who were present and have contributed significantly to blood donations, whether it be voluntary or through blood drives.
“This is exciting… I have to say kudos to all of you here who have been donating over the years. I definitely have an interest to see the programme growing and for us to become a culture of giving blood,” Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn said.
“I think it is important for us to develop such a culture here and I am very happy to see our young people and not so young people giving blood,” she added.
Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn emphasised that Jamaica is way below where the country should be with regard to blood donations.
“I think we need to develop a culture [of voluntarily donating blood] and this is the perfect time. We’re launching now the Youth Ambassador Programme for blood donation,” she said.
Jamaica’s Top Blood Donor, Sonya Binns Lawrence, was also awarded for donating 111 units of blood to date, which surpassed the joint sum of donation from both Messrs Redwood and White.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, she said it feels absolutely great to be awarded.
“It’s been a wonderful journey [donating blood over the years]. I want to encourage other donors that God has given us this chance to give back to our community and to be a blessing to others. It’s a good health habit to pick up, so let us continue to give blood,” she said.
World Blood Donor Day was celebrated locally under the theme ‘Give Blood and Keep the World Beating’.