Mark Croskery, CEO of Stocks and Securities Limited. - File
The marketing and public education efforts of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) have been augmented by a donation from Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) valued at $250,000.
Chief executive officer and president of SSL, Mark Croskery, handed over the funds to Dr Jennifer Thame, acting director of the National Laboratory Services, under which the NBTS falls, at the Kingston offices of the SSL earlier this month.
In expressing gratitude for the donation, Dr Thame said she anticipates that this newly-formed alliance with SSL will contribute significantly to the organisation's efforts at recruiting voluntary donors and in maintaining its outstanding record of providing good quality blood and blood products to the health sector.
Currently, the annual blood collection averages 25,000 units, meeting only half of the national demand. Dr Thame pointed to the need for increased assistance to enable the agency to strengthen its drive to align the level of voluntary blood donations with the national demand for 50,000 units annually. Blood, she said, has a lifespan of only 35 days, hence the NBTS has to work assiduously to ensure constant availability by creating "partnerships for life" with voluntary donors.
In addition to this donation, Mr Croskery has pledged further assistance for the promotion of special events and a billboard for joint promotions. The financial entity also plans to undertake the purchase of a deionizer unit for the NBTS.
The partnership between SSL and the NBTS was initiated by Blood Bank volunteer, Wentworth Graham, whose ongoing promotion of the national importance of the NBTS and the overwhelming need for increased voluntary blood donation drew the attention of the SSL.
Over the years, blood donation in Jamaica has evolved from the use of professional (paid) donors when the service started in 1948, to a combination of voluntary and replacement donors. The NBTS seeks to encourage voluntary blood donation through its public awareness programmes, corporate partnerships and the recognition of committed voluntary blood donors.
The NBTS is a government organisation, which falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of Health and Environment. It has been responsible for the provision of all blood and blood products to hospitals in Jamaica since December 1948. Its primary function is the processing of all the blood collected at the various collection centres and mobile sessions; and the cross-matching of blood groups to meet the transfusion needs of patients.