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Jun 14, 2016

Blood Connects Us All – World Blood Donor Day Celebrated in Belize

Donating blood may not be an enjoyable experience for many, but knowing the process and the importance can reduce fear. Today was celebrated as World Blood Donor Day; an occasion used to thank volunteer donors for giving that vital fluid. In Belize, a call was also made for new donors to beef up the supply available at the Blood Bank at the Central Health Region Compound. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Annually, June fourteenth is celebrated around the world as Blood Donor Day. This year, it is being celebrated under the theme, “Blood Connects Us All,” and focuses on the importance of voluntary unpaid blood donations. In many countries, the demand exceeds supply. Blood services, such as the local blood bank, face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.

 

Ronald Stuart

Ronald Stuart, Treasurer, Belize Volunteer Blood Donors Association

“It’s to recognize the contribution of volunteer blood donors or donors on a whole to the health care system of Belize; how we are able to help those who are in need of this vital fluid that cannot be manufactured or produced or made in any synthetic day. We have been calling our donors, we also have been made all the persons who we regularly or institutions who we have been visiting to do blood drives, to remind their staff or donors to come and do their blood donations and in return, we are giving an appreciation to those donors who have come yesterday and today.”

 

To ensure that there is adequate supply of blood, there is need for regular donations by voluntary blood donors.

 

Ronald Stuart

“There are two types of donors that exit: replacement donors who are those that are giving blood for persons who are in need and the volunteer donors just give without any compulsion. We give donations because we know it is necessary and it is also therapeutic in the sense that when we give blood donations as volunteers, it helps our body not to destroy those cells because blood is ever changing. So the blood that we have today is not the same that we’ll have three months from now; the cells would change. So rather than the body destroying it as it naturally would, we give those donations so that persons can use it as medicine to get better.”

 

So who can give blood? According to Ronald Stuart, anyone eighteen years old, with a healthy lifestyle; a person not having had a tattoo or body piercing within the last year or any chronic disease.

 

The thirty-minute process includes answering a questionnaire; the phlebotomist then reviews the responses before samples are taken to test your hemoglobin levels. Thereafter, a unit of blood is taken before it is screened.

 

Like Stuart, Joana Middleton is a volunteer blood donor and has been giving blood for eight years.

 

Joana Middleton, Volunteer Blood Donor

“I assist the Blood Bank; I always give to them because I know that there is need for blood always out here. It is a necessity—for people that do surgeries, even without surgeries, people have an efficiency that they need blood.”

 

Duane Moody

“Is there any fear? Do you have any fear…you know a lot of people are afraid for needles and things like that?”

 

Joana Middleton

Joana Middleton

“No, I don’t have any fear for needles; I love the needles because then I know that I am donating blood and it is for people that need blood. I have been giving blood for eight years and the needles are nothing to me.”

 

So if you want to become a volunteer donor and save a life…

 

Ronald Stuart

“You just come here to the Blood Bank and just sign up and give your donation after all checks are done; the questionnaire and the hemoglobin levels are checked; not having a sore throat and all the rest of it.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The annual general meeting of the Blood Donor Association will be held this evening at the Central Health Region Compound in Belize City.

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