Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person, it is the gift of life. The medical requirement for blood can affect us all, and safe blood saves lives and improves health.
Many countries around the world celebrate Blood Donor Day on 14 June, using it as an avenue for raising awareness of the need for safe blood. It is also a way to thank existing blood donors, and to encourage more persons to commit to regular voluntary blood donations.
In Grenada, surveys show that of our 110,000 inhabitants, just over 300 individuals make voluntary blood donations.
The 2017 theme for World Blood Donor Day was ‘Don’t Wait Until Disaster Strikes. What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often.’ With the importance of the donations in mind, CIBC FirstCaribbean committed to giving assistance towards the comfort of the volunteers here in Grenada. This was realised through the donation of an electrical blood donor chair (at a cost of EC$6,500) to the Pathology Department at the Grenada General Hospital on 6 September 2017.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony, Country Head of CIBC First Caribbean, Nigel Ollivierre said, “The need for blood never stops, blood donors save lives. Every blood donation gives the person who receives it a new chance at life. Being a donor myself, I am aware that the comfort of our volunteers is of vital importance.” He added, “the bank has a very real interest in the local community and its well-being and we are extremely pleased to have been able to assist in such tangible way.”
Director of Hospital Services at the General Hospital, Ester Henry Fleary, praised the initiative under taken by the bank and highlighted the importance of having patients comfortable and relaxed during the approximate 20-minute procedure.
She noted that although the criteria before a person can be accepted as a blood donor is very strict, these are designed to protect the health of the donor, as well as the patient receiving the blood. “The mission of the blood transfusion service is to provide all patients with sufficient, safe and quality blood, as well as to ensure that key components of an effective health system are upheld,” she added.
Before donating blood, it is important to note that volunteers are required to answer questions related to their medical history. Donated blood is also tested for viruses such as, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis.