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The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has acquired a bus, which will better enable the entity to carry out its blood collection activities.

The vehicle, donated by the National Health Fund (NHF), will be used to transport voluntary blood donors and NBTS personnel.

The 15-seater bus was handed over to the Director of the NBTS, Dr. Angela Scott by Chairman of the NHF, Sterling Soares during the official launch of World Blood Donor Day 2013 on Friday, June 14, at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.

During the event, the winners of the NBTS poster competition were presented with their prizes.

The first place award went to Jamario Richard Wright of Quality Academics, who received an iPad computer tablet. Deneve Kemeca Evene Sweeney of Wolmers Trust High School for Girls, who placed second, walked away with a mini Samsung S3 phone; while Jody Ann Campbell of the Jonathan Grant High School received a Blackberry phone for her third place finish.

The Ministry of Health and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Jamaica collaborated to stage the poster competition, which sought to increase awareness among the youth of the significance of World Blood Donor Day.

Persons between the ages 14 and 25 years were invited to design a poster, which represented the theme: ‘Give the Gift of Life-Donate Blood’. A total of 15 persons responded.

Jamaica joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Blood Donor Day, which aimed to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

The day also sought to promote voluntary blood donation; and to convince Ministers of Health worldwide to make a commitment to achieving self‑sufficiency in safe blood and blood products through 100 per cent voluntary non-remunerated blood donations.

Jamaica hosted the official launch of the day for the region of the Americas with the event being streamed live to 39 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. France was the global host country.

This was the 10th anniversary of the day, which was established by the World Health Assembly in 2004.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards