NBTS anticipates 12,000 units on International Blood Donation Day

first_imgDirector of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Dr Pedro LewisDirector of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr Pedro Lewis expects to receive some 12,000 units of blood from volunteers across the country today as Guyana observes International Blood Donation Day.Dr Lewis said that 80 per cent or 9600 units of blood will be given by volunteers residing in Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four).International Blood Donation Day is being observed under the theme “Safe Blood For All” this year in a global bid to raise awareness of the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of healthcare and the essential role of voluntary donations in achieving the goal of universal health coverage.The theme was also chosen to “encourage more people around the world to become donors and to make regular donations, actions that are the cornerstone to create a solid base on which to establish a sustainable blood supply at the national level that will allow the transfusion needs of all patients”.Lewis explained that the NBTS is in a very privileged position, especially in the Caribbean, because the country maintains “an excellent 100 per cent record of voluntary donation”.The NBTS Director attributed this to the strong sense of empathy among Guyanese.“It’s a cultural thing,” Dr Lewis said, explaining the longevity of volunteerism among the thousands of annual voluntary donors who back the country’s ongoing blood donation drives.Lewis called for “more community involvement” in the process since the country is moving towards establishing a trauma centre at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).“We will need more blood to sustain a trauma unit,” Lewis said, making his pitch for a spike in grassroots support for the NBTS.He lauded the 450 collaborators who helped organise the year-round, nationwide blood donation drive necessary to maintain a sufficient blood supply and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusions in the nation’s health system.According to the WHO, “An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors. These donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of blood-borne infections is lowest among this group.”World Health Assembly (WHA), an arm of the WHO, also “urges all member states to develop national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid donations and to work towards the goal of self-sufficiency,” the global body’s website explained.It said that the risk of transmission of serious infections, including HIV and hepatitis, through unsafe blood and chronic blood shortages brought global attention to the importance of blood safety and availability.“With the goal of ensuring universal access to safe blood and blood products, WHO has been at the forefront to improve blood safety and availability, the WHO website said.last_img

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