As a result of the appeals made by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) for persons to voluntarily donate blood, the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Stewartville, West Coast Demerara on Sunday hosted a health fair and a successful blood drive.
That drive afforded the NBTS an additional 26 units of blood. Pastor of the church, Sherwyn Whyte, noted that the organizers of the church had already planned the health fair, but when they read about the severe blood shortage being experienced by the blood bank, they decided to include the blood drive in the event.
It was explained that most of the blood givers were first time donors who voluntarily donated their blood due to the shortage currently being experienced.
NBTS has been able to acquire a total of 126 units of blood within the past week. The final-year students of the Cyril Potter College of Education also had a successful blood drive on Saturday in Rose Hall, Corentyne, where 54 units of blood was collected from voluntary donors; while the Canadian High Commission also assisted in the effort recently with another 25 units.
As it relates to the current shortage, National Blood Donor Manager of the blood bank, Shameeza Mangal, said that Guyanese have responded positively to the calls issued by the NBTS, and as a result, the blood bank has been acquiring blood to satisfy the needs of the Georgetown Public Hospital.
She explained that requests from the hospital keep coming in, and, as such, persons still need to donate, so that while the NBTS will be issuing the blood, there will be replacements.
It was explained that if persons continue to voluntarily donate their blood on a regular basis, then the blood bank would not experience any shortage.
Anyone who is over 16 years of age and weighs a minimum of 110 pounds is eligible to donate blood. Persons can keep donating once every two months, since blood has a shelf life of only 35 days. The National Blood Transfusion Service has, over the years, been providing Guyanese with the sustenance of life – blood.
Their contribution to the thousands of Guyanese who have received blood in one form or the other has been met with praises and speechless utters of gratitude.
However, with an increasing demand for blood today, the NBTS has had to revamp its blood donation service.
As such, it is calling for regular unpaid voluntary blood donors to step up to the humanitarian need and join the Good Samaritan Program in reaching its target of 10,000 units of safe blood by year end.
The NBTS provides blood to hospitals across the region, including the private and regional hospitals.
Kaieteur News understands that the situation has worsened due to the establishment of the new diagnostic health centres across the country, which also undertake some surgical procedures. In light of this, organizations and public-spirited citizens have come on board to give the gift of life.
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