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Jamaica Agricultural Society launches massive blood drive initiative

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM

AS THE Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) enters its 120th year, the group today will launch an islandwide blood drive initiative at its Church Street offices, with the aim of receiving 2,000 units of blood after 12 months.

Jannett Pullen, manager of marketing, training and projects at the JAS, speaking with The Gleaner, said there was a constant demand for blood and that this new JAS initiative is significant at the community level and for Jamaica on a whole.

The marketing manager said that although the organisation's membership is 75 per cent farmers, the group wants to go beyond farmers and sensitise the average Jamaican on the need to donate blood.

"One of the things we are trying to accomplish over the next 12 months is to sensitise Jamaicans to be open to giving blood. I really don't think that Jamaicans don't like to give blood, because people will give at some point in their lives to someone - a family member or friend who is in need," Pullen said.

She continued: "One of the ways we will urge Jamaicans to donate is by taking the (blood donation) facilities to them."

For the 12-month drive, the JAS has partnered with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and the Ministry of Health in hopes of receiving 2,000 units of blood for the period. To meet that target, the organisation will require a minimum of 170 persons in each parish to donate.

The JAS will begin its first blood drive in Kingston and St Andrew when the organisation hosts 'Agro Fest' in May and continue to host the NBTS at each of the society's events over the next 12 months.