The National Blood Bank relies on voluntary donations of blood from public-spirited persons to ensure safe blood is available when needed to save a life.
According to the US Embassy, 2013 marked ten years of partnership between the United States of America and Guyana in combating HIV/AIDS under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR).
A major success story of that partnership has been the development of an adequate, safe supply of blood for the people of Guyana. Over the past decade, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided technical support to the Guyanese Ministry of Health on blood safety activities.
Key initiatives include enhancing blood collection procedures and policies in Guyana, recruiting and retaining low-risk blood donors, and ensuring the testing of all donated blood units for HIV and other transfusion-transmissible infections.
Physicians and other clinicians engaged in transfusion services received education on proper utilization guidelines to reduce inappropriate use of blood as a clinical therapy, preventing shortages.
As a result of this ongoing partnership, 2013 marked the first year in which Guyana has been able to collect sufficient blood to meet its projected national needs. A record 10,000 units of blood was voluntarily donated.