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Jun 14, 2005

Wanted: volunteer blood donors

Story PictureToday is World Blood Donor Day…and unless you’ve ever had a loved one in a life or death situation, you may not realize just how important those little bags of red liquid can be. Jacqueline Woods has more.

Ronald Stuart, Pres, Volunteer Blood Donor Service
?I heard the testimony of a relative who had somebody who received blood and realized just how important it was for them knowing that I am able to give.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
For the last decade thirty-nine year old Ronald Stuart has been saving lives…not as a fire-fighter or policeman, but simply by donating blood.

Ronald Stuart
?I feel like, I have a moral obligation to do it, so that?s why I continue to do it over the years and do so regularly and consistently. I know I have given I think in excess of forty units or there about.?

Today Stuart is the President of the Belize Blood Donor Service. Currently the blood bank has a sufficient supply of all blood types, but there is the need for more volunteer donors who currently make up only ten percent of the number of persons who give blood.

Ronald Stuart
?The ninety percent are made up from replacement donors who are persons who are giving on behalf of a relative or some friend that may need to have the blood replaced because of what is being used or that they require. The blood donors, who are volunteers not only are they voluntary but we are not paid for what we do, and are considered to be more safe. We have more compulsion to give and for that reason is there is no reason to misrepresent anything that would be stated or be required of us in the questionnaire that we have to full out.?

It is the second time Gregorio Najarro is donating blood to a family member. Today he is seriously considering becoming a volunteer donor.

Gregorio Najarro, Replacement Donor
?It wasn?t until last year that one of my family members was in need of blood. So since I was the closest relative I was called in as a potential blood donor; that was when I gave the first time. Now this is my second time and again one of my family members. But this time I?m more relaxed than the last time because usually the first time is when you get this?not really afraid, but you get this anxiety on you.?

Today the Belize National Blood Transfusion Service joined other organisations across the globe in observing World Blood Donor Day. Stuart used the occasion to send out a special appeal to all prospective blood donors.

Ronald Stuart
?Each and every one of us who are able to give should be able to. And think about the need, not only when you are in the position or any family member maybe, but somebody else who would need it at any point in time.?

The Blood Donor Service stresses that the procedure is not only confidential, but is safe for all involved. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

In 2004, the Blood Donor Service launched Club Twenty-Five, a system that is used to recruit new volunteer blood donors between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. In Belize, a donor is usually asked to give blood at least four times a year.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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