THE National Blood Transfusion Centre is imploring all eligible individuals to support World Blood Donor Day collections on Thursday, June 14.
The theme for this year's observance is 'Be There for Someone Else. Give Blood. Share Life'.
It is recognised as a day to honour voluntary blood donors for their generosity and sacrifice, as well as raise awareness surrounding the need for regular donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
In an interview with JIS News, blood donor organiser at the National Blood Transfusion Centre, Igol Allen, said it is important for prospective donors to remember that blood donation is not just beneficial to persons who will receive the blood.
“There are a number of benefits to be had also by the donor, including improved heart health, enhanced production of new blood cells and reduced cancer risk. Screening conducted at the time of donation also helps individuals to know their vital numbers in relation to blood sugar levels, cholesterol and others,” Allen added.
The collection centre of focus for this year is the Ocho Rios Baptist Church in St Ann, where donors are able to give blood between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on World Blood Donor Day.
Several other locations across the island include The University Hospital of the West Indies, National Blood Transfusion Centre's Slipe Pen Road Collection Unit, Port Antonio Hospital, St Ann's Bay Hospital, Mandeville Hospital, and Fairview Shopping Centre (temporary set-up) in Montego Bay, among others.
All individuals between 16 and 60 years of age are being asked to come out and support the drive and save a life.
Allen said that outside of collection during this week, he is encouraging individuals to make blood donation a habit.
“We need only two per cent of the population to give blood annually to be able to meet our local demand for the precious commodity,” he said.
People who suffer from anaemia, STIs, HIV/AIDS, as well as individuals who are underweight or under the age of 16, are among those ineligible to donate.
A ceremony to recognise significant partners and donors will be held in June.