ST. LUCIANS are being called upon to donate blood annually – and as regularly as they can, as every fluid ounce of blood can save a life!
The call was made by Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert of the Ministry of Health, at a blood donation drive organized by the International American University College of Medicine (IAU), in association with the St. Jude Blood Bank Services and the Victoria Hospital Blood Bank Services, in observance of World Blood Donor Day, observed world-wide on June14 annually.
The theme of this year’s event was: “Be there for someone else, give blood, share life.”
The annual event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood.
The event attracted a large number of blood donors from various communities in the south of the island.
In her address, Dr.Philbert, a district medical officer, said: “I want to encourage those of us who can donate blood, to donate today and make it a habit.”
She recounted a situation where she witnessed a friend, who was desperately in need of blood and was hospitalized, but she was not able to give her blood.
The doctor lamented that it was “a total stranger” who saved her friend’s life by giving her the needed blood.
“In St. Lucia, we are fortunate enough to have a blood donation services that promotes access to safe blood and blood products, but we need more than safe blood.
“We need to always have enough blood to save lives when the need arises…”
Councilman Roger Winter, a member of the Vieux-Fort South Constituency Council said: “When you give blood, you donate a gift of life…”
He commended the college for its initiative and exhorted it to continue its blood donation drive.
Dean of Basic Science at the college, Dr. Villeneuve James, described the event as a memorable one and called on the public to continue to support it.
The college has been observing such an occasion for the past ten years, with much success.
In an interview with this reporter after the event, Public Relations Officer of IAU, SibiGopalakrishnan, said that the college will continue to observe World Blood Donor Day and is satisfied with the public participation in the event over the years.