A call has been made for the establishment of a Mobile Blood Transport service in order to go out into the rural areas of the country to obtain greater quantities of blood for the island’s health needs.
The call was made by civil servant, Ann Dufont, the current Chairperson of a newly formed group known as “Friends of the Blood Bank Grenada Inc”, whose primary role is to donate blood to the St. George’s General Hospital.
The organisation held a ceremony last Friday at the National Stadium as the members joined countries worldwide in raising awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank and award voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life saving gift of blood.
In her address at the ceremony, Dufont said the main objective of the newly formed body is to promote the development of a national blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated donation of blood and to assist the hospitals on the island with blood procurement efforts.
She also said that another key role is to assist in providing the best environment for blood donors before, during and after the actual process of blood collection.
Some of the activities planned include a recruitment drive for new members, the holding of workshops as well as visits to schools and work places visit, and a Logo competition, which is scheduled for September in the new Academic School year.
Dufont told the gathering, “we also look forward to the day when we would be able to lobby with the Ministry of Health, so that, certain mechanisms would be in place for our donors who one day may not be able to be a donor anymore. Such persons should be able to get certain benefits from the hospital services”.
Digicel’ s Marketing Manager Kirk Seetahal represented his company, which played a major role in sponsoring last year’s Blood Donors event that was held at its head office at Point Salines to mark the worldwide celebration.
Seetahal spoke of being moved by the impressive turnout of people for the event and said, “We have to keep getting the word out in terms of education and awareness about blood donation because there are still a lot of things people don’t understand about voluntary donation”.
“Some people are still afraid of the process”, he told the gathering as he congratulated all the blood donors on their life-saving act of solidarity and pledged Digicel’s continued support of the Friends of the Blood bank.
Minister of Health, Clarice Modeste-Curwen told the gathering that Grenada needs more voluntary blood donors and she would like to grow the figure from 33% of all blood donors to 100%.
Certificates were presented to some of the blood donors of yesteryear like Evelyn Ross, Delano Gibbes, Lennard Hughes, Julien Rapier, George Rapier SR, Geoffrey Thompson, as well as current donors, Kenneth Moore, Jeffrey Byer and Thaddeus Frazer.
The Digicel sponsored Florida Steel Pan entertained the crowd at the World Blood Donor Day event that was held under the theme, “EVERY BLOOD DONATION IS A GIFT OF LIFE”.