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Sep 28, 2011

Give blood and save lives

There was a blood drive today for residents and offices of Coney Drive organized by PAHO/WHO. The initiative was held to replenish the depleting blood bank of the Belize Blood Transfusion Services. With a high number of persons affected by diabetes, today’s event also included checks for glucose, body mass index and blood pressure levels.  News Five’s Delahnie Bain was over at the PAHO office and has a report.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Several persons rolled up their sleeves today and literally gave of themselves for a good cause. They donated blood at the annual drive organized by the PAHO/WHO and the Belize Blood Bank.

Heraldo Decosio, PAHO/WHO Representative

Heraldo Decosio

“Today’s event has many objectives; the first one is to create awareness among the population about blood donating and the importance of giving blood to save lives. The other is to support the blood bank to collect enough blood so that they can use it for any medical purpose that is required in the country because one of the major problems that currently—not just Belize but in most countries in the world, especially what we call low and middle income companies have a very small amount of blood that can be ready when it is needed.”

According to Joy Robateau of the Belize Blood Bank, they are taking steps to increase voluntary donors since their blood is the safest but PAHO/WHO representative Heraldo Decosio says that many persons are reluctant.

Joy Robateau

Joy Robateau, Blood Bank

“We’re taking a different approach, we’re approaching different organizations spreading the word. I’m sure a couple of you remember us from our presentations that we gave in the past few weeks. We hope this becomes a positive outlook for the future and we will have this blood drive on an annual basis. We move a little bit closer to collecting one hundred percent voluntary donations. As we all know, voluntary donations is the safest blood.”

Heraldo Decosio

“Sometimes people—I don’t know they feel afraid because of the needle. We always find an excuse for not coming. Some of them might say I have a cold or they say I will come later. It is normal but the important thing is—it doesn’t matter how many people come. What matters is how many bags of blood we will have, how many bags of blood will be in the blood bank that will be ready for someone who needs it.”

Today’s blood drive was also used as an opportunity for other organizations to promote healthy lifestyles.

Heraldo Decosio

“There are some organizations like the Kidney Association and the Diabetes Association that are also helping us to do some health activities. So the diabetes association is testing people for diabetes so you can find out the level of sugar in your blood or how your kidneys are functioning. So it helps many things. Another thing that is not very obvious but we would also like to promote is that whenever you do these activities, also try to eat something healthy like the fruits that we’re sharing and the vegetables and that also helps us to promote another important program which is the prevention of some chronic diseases.”

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