Saturday, February 17, 2018

importance of donating blood

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PLEASED: Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan

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On the challenges in getting people to donate, Charles said it was an awareness issue and there was a lot of misinformation.

"People think they cannot give blood as long as they have a tattoo. This is not true, there is a deferral period of a year and after that people can donate blood because after a year any test that could come up positive will come up positive."

He said the one-year period was international practice since they had to assume the possibility of needles being infected because their first responsibility was to the recipient.

"And many of the infections, HIV, syphilis, hepatitis that are passed on this way may not be detected by screening for up to a year."

Operations manager at Friends of the Blood Bank Daune Gonzalez said although the number of young people wanting to give blood had not increased drastically Friends of the Blood Bank has been doing a lot of work with young people.

"We have been doing blood drives with the Hindu Students Council which started off in UWI but it has expanded, so we do blood drives with them. We also do blood drives with another youth group called Share Goodness. We have done three blood drives with them; one in South, one in Central and one in north Trinidad."

"We have a lot of lectures at companies, organisations and schools across the country and we also have a drive dealing with the myths and misconceptions of giving blood. We also have the only mobile unit that we go across the country hosting blood drives," he added.

These lectures and drives take place at least three times a week all over the country, he said.

In a release Thursday the Ministry of Health thanked all voluntary blood donors including the young people who have been supporting the blood drive across the country over the past year.

"The honourable Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan stated that he is pleased with the emerging generation of young heroes and would like to encourage more persons to join them in becoming blood donors," the release said.