Public Urged to Donate Blood in Preparation for CWC 2007

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is urging the public to donate more blood in order to assist in meeting its required goal of 4,000 units, in preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007.
Director of the NBTS, Dr. Lundie Richards told JIS News that with the March 15 deadline to meet a substantial part of the goal fast approaching, there was further need for persons to “step up to the crease” to ensure that the blood bank is fully stocked throughout the event, as well as ensure its ability to deal with any crises that may occur.
He said in a bid to motivate persons to come out to donate blood, the NBTS will be airing public service announcements, using Jamaican cricketer, Gareth Breese, as a spokesperson. “We are trying to put together some incentives and this will be made public soon,” he revealed.
In addition to the incentives, Dr. Richards informed that the NBTS hoped to attain its goal by increasing the base of its donors. “We have approached a number of entities including the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), who started their campaign on February 20 at Up Park Camp,” he commented.
The NBTS is also setting up blood drives with its reliable partners – the police, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, and correctional officers. Blood donor organizers are also seeking to make connections with a number of interest groups and organizations.
“I am pretty confident that we will reach our target because I know that our people love to give and by putting in the necessary work and also the necessary incentives, we will reach our target,” he said.
Commenting on the response since announcing the special drive for the upcoming tournament, Dr. Richards said it was positive. In fact on the eve of the launch, which took place on February 15, the Blood Bank hosted a very successful drive at St. George’s College, where some 70 units were collected.
“For the first time we went there, we collected over 70 pints of blood and if we go to several places during the week and collect over 70 pints on every occasion, then we will be well on our way,” the Director pointed out.
Dr. Richards also encouraged persons to visit the newly re-opened blood collection centre at the National Chest Hospital in Liguanea, which is opened daily until 6:00 p.m. and also on Saturdays. “We invite interest groups to call that centre to inquire about donating blood,” he urged.

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