Mar 08, 2020 News
For Rabindra Chan donating blood is “an act of love” for humanity.
And Chan loves humanity regardless of the superficial markers imposed to identify and separate one from the other. His commitment for almost 50 years to the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) was sparked by a memorable, life-saving donation he made for someone.
“Ever since I had an encounter with (that) one recipient, I vowed to commit to blood donation without care of ethnicity, gender or identity,” Chan shared
It was a woman’s life Chan helped save, and she is still alive today to tell the tale of his noble gesture.
Towards the end of February, the 65-year-old Chan made his 100th donation to the NBTS. As he recalled, “I began to donate blood through Dr. Clement McEwan who was then Director of the NBTS.
Dr Mc Ewan encouraged me to become a voluntary blood donor and shared that it’s a healthy practice.”
The NBTS this month celebrated the sterling contributions of Chan over the decades to its all-year-round blood donation drive.
Chan can point to revolutionary changes undergone by the NBTS over the years. He lauded the work of current Director, Dr Pedro Lewis, who praised the donor’s contributions for his success.
“The National Blood Transfusion Services is grateful to have blood donors like Mr. Chan to help share and save lives. Persons who become voluntary blood donors from a young age are likely to continue as a lifestyle practice,” Dr. Lewis explained.
According to the NBTS Director, Chan serves as an “ambassador” for voluntary blood donation in Guyana. He said Chan helps conduct sensitisation sessions in the education sector and other local organisations to keep the donation drive alive.
The record blood donor is one of several committed individuals eagerly spreading knowledge on blood donation and always encouraging others to follow suit.
Reports out of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that blood and its components help save millions of lives annually and are vital for both planned treatments and emergency interventions.
Blood and blood components prove particularly essential in the management of women suffering from pregnancy-related bleeding and childbirth. The essential fluid also helps children suffering from severe anaemia due to malaria and patients with blood disorders.
It is vital to help save victims of trauma and other medical emergencies and patients who must undergo medical and life-saving surgical procedures.
The NBTS Director lauded the support of the PAHO/WHO Guyana office headed by Dr William Adu-Krow and his dedicated staff who provide significant technical and other key support needed by the NBTS.
PAHO/WHO braces the NBTS, too, in areas of policy development and sponsors capacity-building programmes for staff members.
Dr Adu-Krow has consistently pledged the twin health agencies support to help achieve the NBTS and by extension, the government’s annual goals for the local sector.
With all-round support from PAHO/WHO, the NBTS secured some 13,000 units of blood for 2019, surpassing the national target of 10,000 units.
“The technical support that we receive from these organisations has made massive contributions to the vast number of new and continuous voluntary blood donors like Mr. Chan, who we would often take time to single out for appreciation and recognition for their selfless contributions to the local healthcare system,” Dr Lewis said.
He added that over the years, the work of the NBTS has been bolstered by increased productivity of blood components; heightened sensitisation and awareness programmes as well as technical support and capacity building initiatives.
These have resulted in an improved quality of service to NBTS customers, better phlebotomy techniques and excellent laboratory standards and practices, Dr Lewis said.
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