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JGRA hosts Ocho Rios blood drive

Published:Friday | May 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMAnthony Minott, Gleaner Writer
Anthony Minott Wayne Boothe (left), operator of the Petcom service station in Ocho Rios, St Ann. and Gregory Chung (centre), chairman of the JGRA's Road Safety Committee, in the process of donating blood at colection drive held at the servive station recentky, A Blood Bank employee assists in the process.
Anthony Minott Wayne Chung (left), chairman of the Road Safety Committee of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA), shortly after donating a unit of blood, held by an employee of the National Blood Tranfusion Service (centre). Robert Collins, Communications director of the JGRA, was also part of the the JGRA's blood collection drive, held recently at the Petcom service station in Ocho Rios, St Ann. Rios, St Ann.

On Saturday, May 9, the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers' Association (JGRA) and the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), which is widely known as the Blood Bank, hosted a blood drive at the Petcom Service Station, Ocho Rios, St Ann.

A fairly regular JGRA activity, the blood drive was held ahead of National Road Safety Month, which begins on June 1,

"We registered 53 persons and received 28 units of blood on that day," said Keishawna Pinnock, assistant blood donor organiser at the Blood Bank.

Among those who wished to participate but were not allowed to, Pinnock said "the majority of deferrals tested with low haemoglobin count (iron levels), especially in women." She was satisfied with the collection, saying, "We did an awesome job and the JGRA team did their part. Posters and flyers were mounted in the business community and teasers were issued by the pump attendants at the gas station. JGRA members and gas station staffers were also sensitised to the need and importance of blood donation."

Gregory Chung, chairman of the JGRA's Road Safety Committee, said the organisation has long realised that road crashes put a strain on the Blood Bank's reserves and the only solution is to fix the shortages.

The JGRA organised two blood drives in 2014. A third, which was planned, was cancelled because of the chikungunya outbreak.

Leonard Green, president of the JGRA, said the organisation started blood drives some years ago when a member was shot and needed blood. Green added that the 64-year-old organisation has been heavily involved in automotive safety.

The next JGRA road safety blood drive will take place on June 3 at the FESCO service station at Angels, Spanish Town, and coincides with the launch of JGRA National Road Safety Month 2015.