The supply of blood at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) was significantly boosted yesterday with supplies garnered during a public blood drive at the National Media and Publishing Company’s (Kaieteur News) Saffon Street, Charlestown head office.
According to blood donor rcruiter Kyle Walrond, once the blood is thoroughly tested and labelled as safe for utilisation by laboratory experts, it is anticipated that the supply will not last for more than three days.
Walrond explained that so huge is the demand that some surgeons have even opted to make the crucial decision of postponing surgeries, being fearful that there may not be enough blood to offset the needs of their patients.
As such, the recruiter disclosed, every effort is being made by NBTS to solicit the assistance of both private and public organisations, as well as individuals, to voluntarily donate blood to meet the current crisis.
Walrond expressed satisfaction that the management of Kaieteur News undertook the task of allowing a blood drive on the premises, even as he applauded the contribution of the several staffers, including the Managing Director Mr Glenn Lall and the Editor-in-Chief Mr Adam Harris.
He disclosed that it was just about two weeks ago that the NBTS, through the Ministry of Health, raised an alarm on the drastic shortage of blood. He noted that the situation became severe when it was observed that the demand exceeded the supply in a very significant way.
The national supply of blood is made available to doctors at the GPHC, regional hospitals and also to private hospitals.
Walrond said that, at the moment, there is such a limited volume of the precious resource that the NBTS cannot facilitate the many requests.
And so, in order to address the situation, he noted, a decision was made to target Kaieteur News for assistance. He said that the newspaper is recognised as one of the leading media houses in the country.
He noted that several other media houses have already collaborated with the NBTS, and there are more that are expected to come on board, even as he expressed optimism that the move will be emulated by other agencies.
According to coordinator of yesterday’s drive, Ms Pamela Binda, NBTS has engaged a number of sensitisation programmes at various organisations with a view to planning sustained blood drives countrywide.
She disclosed that yesterday’s blood drive is the first in a series that is expected to set the stage to encourage voluntary blood donation.
The NBTS is also working towards acquiring a maximum of 10,000 units of blood for this year, and according to Walrond, just over 7,000 units have already been received.
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