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December 11, 2013
Star News


 

Blood bank targets youth in collection drive

The National Blood Tran-sfusion Service (NBTS) is targeting young people, particularly those in the 17 to 25 age group, in its drive to attract more voluntary blood donors.

This is being done under the Club 25 Programme, which was launched last Friday as a part of the organisation's 65th anniversary celebrations.

Blood donor organiser for the NBTS, Igol Allen, told JIS News that Club 25 is a vehicle for attracting young people to become donors in the partnership for life. Under this programme, young people within the target age group will be encouraged to develop a habit of donating blood with the aim of donating 25 units by age 25.

The theme of the programme is 'New Blood for the World'.

In imploring Jamaicans to donate blood, Allen said the timely collection of blood in sufficient quantities will help to reduce hospital stays and improve the general health care provided. "Blood supplies would be more readily available and accessible to health-care practitioners," he said.

He said collection drives across the island in 2012 yielded just over 50 per cent of the country's requirement for the year. This was just under 31,000 of the 60,000 units that are required to properly satisfy the needs of the country.

Trauma victims account for the highest demand for blood, followed by cancer patients, and those suffering from post-partum haemorrhaging.

The NTBS blood drive goes into high gear this month to satisfy the demands of the upcoming festive season, when there is usually a spike in the number of trauma cases that result in the need for blood and blood components.

Allen is appealing for persons to make their donations at any of the nine blood collection centres islandwide. A list of centres is available at the NBTS's website at www.bloodbankjamaica.gov.jm.

He is also encouraging Jamaicans to know their blood type because in cases of emergency this knowledge could mean the difference between life and death.

In addition, with approximately 30 per cent of donors deferred largely because of iron deficiencies, he said that persons should also assess their own health and nutrition needs.

Meanwhile, as the service celebrates its 65th anniversary, Allen is expressing appreciation to all its partners and stakeholders "who have supported us over the 65 years of saving lives".

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