JIS News

Young people, 17 years and over, who are fit enough to donate blood, will have the opportunity to do so at either of two “Blood Drives” planned by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and Scotia Bank to observe World Blood Donor Day 2010.
World Blood Donor Day, will be observed on Monday, June 14, under the theme, “New Blood for the World”, which is in keeping with the UN Proclamation of 2010 as the International Year of the Youth.
The first of the two blood drives will be held on Monday (June 14), at the Girl Guides Association, Waterloo Road, Kingston at 10:00 a.m., immediately after a Scotia Bank hosted Press Conference to highlight the importance of donating blood.
On Tuesday (June 15), interested persons are invited to visit the Scotia Centre, corner of Duke and Port Royal streets, downtown Kingston, to donate blood.
Communications Officer at the NBTS, Sandra Brown-Thomas, told JIS News that the aim is to collect 400 units of blood over the two days. The annual target set by the Blood Bank is 30,000 units of blood. While this target has never been achieved, Mrs. Brown-Thomas hopes that the NBTS will meet or overshoot the target in 2010. She said that up to May, the NBTS had collected 11,000 units of blood.
“We are working with a number of our partners, such as the Jamaica Red Cross, Girl Guides Association, the Social Development Commission (SDC) and a number of Police Youth Clubs, in order to do a massive recruitment of young people. We anticipate that we will have a huge participation by young people for this World Blood Donor Day,” Mrs. Brown-Thomas told JIS News.
She encouraged young potential blood donors to lead safe and healthy lives, so as to increase their ability to be a regular blood donor.
“Anyone can be in a traffic accident. Those kinds of emergencies cannot be planned and, if the Blood Bank has a sufficient supply of blood, it may mean a matter of life or death for that individual. We urge people don’t wait, because you never know when it may be too late,” she appealed.
Public Relations Manager for the Scotia Bank Group, Simone Hull, said that the bank is pleased to collaborate with the Blood Bank in hosting the blood drives.
“Scotia Bank is very keen on volunteerism and we are always looking for a cause that is going to impact the island in a very positive way, and impact as many people as possible. We recognise that the Blood Bank has always been trying to get people to donate blood and support the cause, and this affects everybody,” she pointed out.
She explained that each year, some Scotia Bank employees find themselves in a situtation where they need blood donation.
“It is something that we identify with. We know it is important and recognise it as a very important national need; so we are happy to be on board,” she stated.
Miss Hull is appealing to young persons to support the Blood Drives next week. She said that a number of young reggae artistes have endorsed the project, and will be present at both Blood Drives, including Konshens, Natel, Nicky B and Craig from Voice Mail.
“You are not too hot, too busy or too hype to donate blood. It is very important and so we are asking every Jamaican, every youngster, 17 and older, to come and donate blood because you may be actually saving your own life,” Miss Hull said.