Kiwanis Club Launches Mobile Blood Donation Drive in Montego Bay
The Kiwanis Club of Freeport, Montego Bay, in association with the National Blood Bank and the Mobile Blood Donation Unit, launched the Western leg of an all-island blood collection drive, at the MegaMart car park in Montego Bay, last Saturday.
The event received full support from several medical doctors and other practitioners, as well as Kiwanians from other parishes, notably, St Elizabeth and Kingston.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, former Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health, Dr Sheila Campbell-Forrester, reminded attendees that donating blood was a "gift of love" and also a collective responsibility, as the need for a transfusion could arise in any person, at any time.
"Your gift of love is a gift of saving a life. One never knows when we may require a unit or more of blood and have to depend on others who kindly donated so that we can benefit ... giving blood sends a loving message that we value life and want to ensure that we protect life, prevent diseases and promote good health," she said.
Also addressing the launch was Lisa Blake-Golding, Lieutenant Governor, for Kiwanis Division 25, which comprises the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, and St Elizabeth. She pledged the full support of her division in fulfilling the all-island mandate for blood collection.
"Kiwanis is celebrating a hundred years in 2015 and Kiwanians across the globe are coming together to change lives. Kiwanians in the United Kingdom, under the patronage of Rudy Paige were very instrumental in securing this mobile blood unit for Jamaica," Blake-Golding said.
"We Kiwanians in western Jamaica, had pledged our support to the project and had decided that as much as we work in communities to change lives, we also wanted to get persons to understand that part of giving back is giving blood as this too is also ensuring that there is livelihood in our nation," she said.
Among the volunteers giving blood at last Saturday's launch was Leroy Grey, a resident of Maroon Town, St James.
"Part of the resources required to provide efficient medical services in the country is the availability of blood, particularly when trauma cases are to be dealt with. This is one of the few ways in which any ordinary citizen can help to support the medical services, by donating blood so that it can be readily available in those emergency cases," Grey told Western Focus.
Last Saturday's initiative was jointly sponsored by MegaMart, Rainforest Seafoods, Lloyd's Department Stores, Clinicare Pharmacy, Grandiosa Hotel and Petcom Service Stations at Dunbar's River and New Hope, Westmoreland.