Residents of St. Elizabeth are being encouraged to turn out at the Black River Health Centre on Saturday (September 24) to participate in the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and the Kiwanis Club of St. Bess’ monthly blood collection drive.
Blood Donor Organiser at the NBTS, Odean Black, told JIS News that the event, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., forms part of ongoing efforts to increase the nation’s blood supply.
“We are working alongside the Kiwanis Club of St. Bess, which usually mobilises persons to give voluntarily on the fourth Saturday of each month [because] our demand for blood has not decreased,” he said.
Mr. Black pointed out that St. Elizabeth does not have a fixed site for blood donation and the once-per-month visit by the Blood Bank makes it more convenient for persons to donate.
To give blood, residents of the parish usually have to visit fixed sites in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland; or Mandeville, Manchester, he told JIS News.
“So, the fact that we come to them means it’s more convenient. It won’t take them the entire day to donate blood as opposed to going into Mandeville where it might take the whole day. When you come to the Black River Health Centre, it’s just a few hours and you can go back to your routine soon afterwards,” Mr. Black said.
“The partnership in St Elizabeth benefits the community as well, because since they [residents] provide it [blood], they are guaranteed some amount of the units to make sure that they are covered. So, the more persons are encouraged to do it, the more [the parish] gets. It gives them more enticement to come out,” he added.
Mr. Black indicated that the previous blood drives were held on July 24 and June 26. The one for August was cancelled due to the no-movement days.
“For this Saturday, we are just going to go out there and, hopefully, we get a good turnout. There is no preregistration; persons can just come out and we go through the process with them,” Mr. Black said.
“At the end of it all, the intention is to go and collect blood because one unit can make a big difference for somebody. So, we want to do so as much as possible,” he added.