Every two seconds someone is in need of blood, therefore, in an effort to ensure the proper procurement of such, Lededra Marche, Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama President in partnership with the Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS), The Red Cross and other organizations conducted its official launch at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) this past Tuesday, September 26.
Blood not only gives life as well as promotes growth and health, it is in great demand at the Rand Memorial Hospital and unfortunately, the donated supply is always low, which of course is quite concerning especially for individuals in need of it.
According to Marche, “The Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama is a newly-formed, non-profit group and while its goal is to raise public awareness on the need for voluntary blood donations, this is not the first such initiative attempted over the years.
“The Blood Donors Society is made up of health professionals, civic communities and members of the public, who have come together for one cause, which is to create an island-wide Volunteer Donors Listing and Registry.
“We have all heard the calls at some point in time for members of the public to come forward and give blood.
“We all know someone who has needed blood and some of us may even have been on the receiving end of that call.
“Blood donors are the key players as they donate life-saving gifts to persons in need,” said Marche..
“While we have champion donors, who voluntarily and regularly donate blood and, to whom we are genuinely grateful, there is still the need to enlist more, as that pool is sometimes strained.
“Our blood supply has been dependent on replacement or direct blood donors, which, according to our health consultants, is always at a chronically low level,” she declared. “We the members, officers and advisors of the Blood Donors Society, which comprises Vice President Dr. Catherine Adderley; Treasurer Claudia Glinton; Blood Drive/Outreach Coordinator Meritta Strachan; Event Coordinator Maria McIntosh; PR Assistants Davina Rutherford and Valeria Burrows; Procurement Officer Patricia Burton; Medical Advisor Dr. Mandi Pedican and members Heidi McPhee, Dixie Jones and Lydia Henfield – indeed are grateful for the partnerships that have been forged with the Grand Bahama Health Services, The Red Cross, and other civic organizations and will be coming to churches, organizations, agencies, schools and business houses to join us in the fight to save lives.”
On hand for the launch was Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams, as well as guest presenter Dr. Pamela Etuk, who along with donors like Ray Harris shared why the Blood donor Society is needed in Grand Bahama.
Additionally, Dr. Etuk helped to dispel many myths and misconceptions associated with being a blood donor and who is able to give a pint or two to save a life.
“To be a witness to the beginning of yet another vital health initiative in Grand Bahama through the collaborative efforts of our community and corporate citizens is truly a pleasure.
“We at the GBHS are cognizant that our success in reaching the length and breadth of our community for the delivery of services or provision of necessary health education and information is incumbent on the relationships we build with our people, communities and public and private organizations as well as corporations.
“We have learned that when we join forces to achieve a common good; what is produced; is a sustainable, integrated society owned effort that has continuity beyond the capacity of one individual and growth beyond the scope of one organization.
“This joint initiative will reinforce the delivery of laboratory services throughout our communities and we hope to provide an example to many others that advance in all areas is, in most instances, sparred by joining hands to work in unison to address issues vital to the success of organizations and by extension the nation.
“Today we accept your pledge of assistance and vow to ensure that you are provided the essential professional support to promote a vibrant and thriving enterprise,hence on behalf of our Minister of Health and dedicated laboratory staff, who have felt the challenge of providing health services 24/7 for the entire community, leaving little time for aggressive planning and maintenance, of a blood donor program that supports the needs of all emergencies and health incidences in a timely manner,” declared Administrator Williams.
Excuses as to why one is reluctant to save a life by donating blood was thrown out the window by Dr. Etuk who applauded the efforts of the Blood Donors Society and shared that blood is the fluid that gives life by transporting oxygen from the lungs to body tissue and carbon dioxide from body tissue to the lungs.
Furthermore, she noted that it promotes growth through nourishment from digestion and hormones from glands that are transported throughout the body as well as health by disease fighting substances that are carried to the tissues and waste to the kidneys.
Facing fears such as being afraid of needles, the sight of blood, pain or taking medication that might not make it eligible for use as well as fear of possible contamination, were all medically, scientifically, professionally dispelled by Dr. Etuk, who exercised a commonsense view and infectious wit to state that a loved one in need of a blood transfusion may not be able to get one if the public refuses to live in fear instead of ascertaining the facts and do that which is right to save a life that could be their very own.
Blood has a shelf life of 35 days, so Dr. Etuk urged everyone to get the facts, know their blood type and donate.
The Blood Donors Society certainly is a committed organization and management of a robust program of awareness and procurement under the guidance of qualified clinical advisors and laboratory professionals from the health services declared Administrator Williams, who further noted, “These concerned private citizens thought it best to collaborate rather than criticize, cooperate rather than tear down and to unite rather than breakdown or destroy with tongues of a National Blood Bank Program; we express our thanks for the interim solution to our local concerns.
“We also express profound gratitude on behalf of our Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and the entire staff of GBHS for the Society’s noteworthy contribution that is being bestowed on us today.
“As you give your time, talents and treasures to augment services and save lives, may your lives and that of your families map the abundance of God’s charity, as we all remain committed to care and to serve.”