Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Blood Bank to host Donor Fest tomorrow - Drive to focus on importance of blood for pregnant women

Published:Friday | June 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dr Orville Morgan, Senior Medical Officer at Victoria Jubilee Hospital - Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Dr Veronica Taylor, acting director, National Blood Transfusion Service
1
2

 

Everyone is invited to be part of World Blood Donor Day tomorrow at the National Chest Hospital in St Andrew, where the National Blood Transfusion Service will host Donor Fest 2014.

Being held under the theme 'Safe Blood for Saving Mothers', the aim is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for the nation as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent or lessen maternal deaths, as well as to encourage more healthy, voluntary blood donors.

Maternal deaths

According to Dr Orville Morgan, senior medical officer of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, haemorrhaging is one of the leading causes of maternal death, with approximately five deaths per year in Jamaica.

Noting that Jamaica is averaging approximately 50 per cent of the blood needed for various medical procedures, Dr Veronica Taylor, acting director, National Blood Transfusion Service, is encouraging everyone to come to Donor Fest to give blood. They are hoping to get more than 180 units of blood from healthy, voluntary donors, as well as have hundreds of persons pledge to become voluntary donors.

Commencing at 9 a.m., in addition to accessing a wide range of health services, participants will have an array of activities to keep their interest, which will include a blood drive, booth displays, presentations, wellness talks and other educational activities. There will also be live entertainment, a food court and a kiddies village.

According to the organisers, one of the reasons for choosing the National Chest Hospital as the centre for this year is to energise members of the surrounding communities to its location and make people aware that it is the only blood-donation centre in the Corporate Area that opens on a Saturday.

Raise awareness

World Blood Donor Day was established in 2004 by the World Heath Organisation, with the aim to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gifts of blood.

Globally, 800 women die daily in childbirth and other childbirth-related complications. In the Americas, of the 4,400 who died in 2011, approximately 15 per cent was due to blood loss, hence the theme for this year.

Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries, as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.