As Guyana joins the rest of the world in observance of World Blood Donor Day today under the theme “Blood Connects Us All”, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is challenging the public to work with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in achieving its vision of having 100 per cent voluntary blood donations by 2020.
While the day is set aside for raising awareness on the crucial importance of blood donation, as well as recognising voluntary donors for their continued support, the Ministry along with NBTS is firm in their vision of ensuring blood is more freely donated.
With the figures for voluntary donation in Guyana rising from 25 per cent in 1990 to 90 per cent currently, this brings the country closer to its goal of having full support from the public in enhancing the health sector.
The ministry through the NBTS has recorded a total of 9698 units of blood donated annually as well as a number of blood drives conducted on a regular basis. The aim is, however, to have 10,000-12,000 units donated yearly since this is the average amount required for over 15,000 surgeries.
The accomplishment of this was credited to the competence of NBTS which has been the initiator of a number of projects over the past decade for promoting voluntary blood donation across Guyana.
The NBTS attested to this improvement as acting director of the organisation, Pedro Lewis, reported that there is a significant improvement in the number of voluntary donors who visit regularly to make donations to the bank.
In addition, he stated that a number of organisations have been working in close association with NBTS in organising blood drives across the regions.
However, there remains a dire need for the continuation of this response as the blood bank is always in need in the case of emergencies.