Community supports blood drive at Godfrey Stewart High School Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) recently carried out a blood drive at Godfrey Stewart High School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, to boost blood collection to serve the needs of the health sector.

Blood donor organiser at NBTS, Odean Black, emphasised the importance of the outreach where more than 25 individuals, including students, staff, and parents, gave blood on the day.

He pointed out that such initiatives are critical to meeting the increasing demand for blood across Jamaica, highlighting the continuous challenge in getting persons to donate.

“The number of willing persons is not as much as we would like but we still have to do our work anyway and do what we need to do to make sure we collect as much blood,” Black said.

‘So, this is just our usual outreach where we go to schools, churches, and business places. The intention is to meet people part-way to donate blood,” he pointed out.

Black underscored the importance of public education in blood donation, noting that the process takes only a few minutes and helps save lives.

He said the NBTS is always ready and willing to visit locations to raise awareness and answer questions about the donation process.

“The need for blood is increasing and healthcare services is improving in Jamaica so the demand for support is increasing,” Mr. Black said.

Black pointed out that St Elizabeth, which does not have a fixed site for blood donation, collection is done on the fourth Saturday of every month at the Black River Health Centre, and the NBTS team will be at the All-American Institute of Medical Sciences (AAIMS) campus in Black River on June 1.

The blood drive at Godfrey Stewart High School was met with enthusiastic support from the school’s administration and community.

Principal, Emily Lawrence-Ricketts said the school community was pleased to be involved in the blood drive, noting that the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) helped to organise the event.

“This is one thing that we are doing to show that we are here for the community,” the principal said.

Seventeen-year-old student Sherwain Gammon, who was donating blood for the first time, shared his joy in knowing he could help save a life, noting that he or a relative could benefit from blood donation in the future.

“Thank God that I will be able to do that,” Sherwain said.