Thursday, June 14, 2012
Port of Spain, June 13, 2012:
The Ministry of Health joins the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the international community in commemorating World Blood Donor (WBDD) Day on Thursday June 14th 2012.
In commemoration of World Blood Donor Day, the Ministry of Health wishes to express its sincere gratitude to all voluntary, unpaid blood donors. This year, the WHO has chosen the theme, “Every Blood Donor is a Hero”. The idea behind the theme is that everyone can become a hero simply by giving blood. The everyday hero responds to an immediate need, whatever the conditions, despite inconvenience, putting the needs of others above his own.
Voluntary blood donors come from all walks of life, all regions, backgrounds, religions and ages. By choosing to donate blood without getting paid, these individuals commit a “heroic” act, a gesture of human solidarity with the power to save lives.
A medical student voluntarily donates blood at a session with the FBBA
Approximately 20,000 units of blood are collected annually but much more blood is required to satisfy demand. Commendably, in the last year, several youth organizations have joined our existing heroes to improve the national supply including the Faculty of Medical Sciences Students’ Association, Share Goodness and the Hindu Students’ Council to donate blood voluntarily in collaboration with the Friends of The Blood Bank (FBBA). Other supporting organizations are the Sir Frank Worrell Committee, the University of the Southern Caribbean, The University of Trinidad and Tobago and the Leadership Council, to name a few.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Fuad Khan, stated that he is “pleased with the emerging generation of young heroes and would like to encourage more persons to join them in becoming blood donors. He said, “The life you save may very well be your own.”
Every unit of blood donated can be separated into three parts and help to save three lives. The regular, voluntary blood donor could donate up to three times and help to save up to nine lives per year – true heroism.
In Trinidad and Tobago, there are six fixed blood donation centres located at:
Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope,
Sangre Grande County Hospital,
Scarborough General Hospital,
San Fernando General Hospital,
Point Fortin Area Hospital.
- National Blood Transfusion Service, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain,
Another medical student voluntarily donates blood at a session with the FBBA
These fixed locations are supported by FBBA’s mobile collection service. Persons are eligible to donate if they are aged between 18 and 65, weigh more than 110 pounds, have not recently travelled to countries with malaria or Chagas Disease and are in general good health. For the safety of both patients and donors there is a brief, confidential interview and medical assessment prior to donation.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Friends of the Blood Bank Association will be commemorating World Blood Donor Day on Sunday June 24th, 2012 with an Annual Walk for Blood Donation. The public is invited to participate in the Walk around the Queens Park Savannah from 7:00am.