Residents flow in to ‘give the gift of life’

GIVING LIFE – The Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama held a blood drive at the Rand Memorial Hospital on Friday, April 27 in conjunction with the University of The Bahamas. (PHOTO: JENNEVA RUSSELL) 

The Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama (BDSGB) was back on the road to promote its “Gift of Life” Campaign, which took place yesterday – Friday, April 27.

During a press conference on Wednesday, April 25 prior to the event, BDSGB shared details about the drive.

Lededra Marche, president of the BDSGB stated the much anticipated blood drive kicks off at 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Rand Memorial Hospital and is the climax of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

“We want to make it a fun event and even have some treats for those who come out and donate,” Marche said, adding that the goal is to host a blood drive every quarter – in April, August and December.

“We want to get it in the residents’ psyche that it is something they can do on a regular basis. We are also hoping to have corporate Grand Bahama come on-board, where their employees can be rostered throughout the year; that way there will be a steady influx of blood streaming into the blood bank at the Rand Memorial Hospital, along with an abundance of volunteer donors,” she said.

However, Marche pointed out, residents are not only subjected to those times of the year.

“Anyone can visit the lab to give blood, as well as make plans on World Blood Donor Day which is celebrated annually on June 14,” she said.

The BDSGB partnered with the Grand Bahama Health Services and The Bahamas Red Cross Grand Bahama Centre to sensitize the Grand Bahama community on the selfless act of giving blood, and the importance of a Volunteer Blood Donor Registry.
The University of The Bahamas (UB) Alumni Association, Grand Bahama, has also joined in to support the drive.

“Additionally, we are also grateful to those civic organizations who have partnered with us, namely the Grand Bahama Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Fabulous Wives and more recently the Kappa Lambda Lambda Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.,” Marche said.

Last year, sponsors such as Subway Restaurants, Western Bakery and Restaurant, Coca-Cola, Millennial Designs and Printing, Total Media Bahamas, the Jeanie Express Courier Services, Imagine Graphics and Printing, Trinity Fashion, Office Plus, Kelly's, FOCOL and all of the radio stations came on-board. A number of them have returned and a few others, including Syngad Services, KOSHA, Morgan’s Pumping and Drilling, the Awards and Signs Centre and Bethel’s Superstore, Bellevue Business Depot and other private individuals have said yes to supporting a lifesaving cause.

Claudia Glinton, Lab Manager of Grand Bahama Hospital Services and BDSGB treasurer told this daily that persons who plan on donating blood should come prepared with a full stomach.
“Eat at least an hour before you come out,” she said.

She furthered that persons will be screened by health care professionals before donating to determine whether they can donate or not. Therefore, persons who may be concerned about being on certain medications or being anemic should still come out and be screened.

Glinton noted that persons who have tattoos can still donate if they have had their tattoos for at least a year.
Glinton went on to discuss Laboratories Professionals Week. She stated that it is celebrated every year and this year is being celebrated from April 22 - 28.

“This is a time when laboratory professionals from around the world try and spread information about our profession,” she said.

She added that because laboratory professionals usually work behind the scenes many people do not know exactly what their job entails and so they use the week as an opportunity to share what they do.

They also use the week to inform young people about choosing a career in the lab.

 Meanwhile, yesterday Grand Bahamians turned out in large numbers to show their support.

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