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JIS News

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is reporting that it has collected a record 259 units of blood at a drive held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
Spanning a period of two days, from March 28 to 29, the drive broke the previous record of 233 units set last year November as the largest collection of blood at a single drive. The University also remains the record holder for the institution or organisation to donate the most blood at a drive.
Speaking to JIS News, Carol Williams, Blood Organiser at the NBTS, summed up the event as impressive. This, she said, had to do with the fact that although fewer persons turned out when compared with the previous record drive, more units of blood were collected last week.
Last November more than 400 persons turned out to support the drive but this time approximately 373 participated. On the first day (March 28), 157 persons were screened and 117 units of blood collected, while on the following day, 216 persons were screened and 142 units of blood secured.
Miss Williams attributed the increase in the amount of blood collected to the fact that more students were eating properly. “The University’s Health Centre, as part of its wellness project, has been isolating those persons who were rejected last time because of anaemia and other problems caused by poor eating habits, and have been working with them in terms of maintaining a healthy diet,” she explained.
Describing the mood at the drive, Miss Williams said that although the fear of the needle was obvious for some persons, she found that many were willing to put aside their fear and to donate the precious substance.
“We know that we will never eradicate the fear of the needle, so what we did was to have volunteers from the Circle K Club and the medical faculty, among others, go out and talk to students to allay their fears. This worked marvellously,” she said.
With respect to the University’s successful partnership with NBTS, Miss Williams informed that the institution has indicated its willingness to host blood drives at least three times per year.
“In fact, this commitment has been put on their calendar as a fixture, every three months or so we will have a blood drive.the next being scheduled for some time in June,” she revealed.
This kind of support augured well for the future, she added, as more Jamaicans in particular, would develop the habit of donating blood.
“We will definitely keep tabs on the students and call on them after graduation, so that they will stay with us once they join us,” Miss Williams said.
The UWI received a special award on World Blood Donor Day on June 13, 2004 for collecting a record 168 units of blood at a drive.

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