(SNO) – A call has been made for St. Lucians to donate blood regularly.
The call was made by District Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert, at a blood donation drive held on Thursday, June 14, 2018. The event was organised 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 observation of World Blood Donor Day.
The theme of this year’s event was: “Be there for someone else, give blood, share life.”
The drive attracted a large number of blood donors from various communities in the south of the island.
In her address, Dr. Philbert 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 her friend, who was desperately in need of blood, hospitalised but was not able to give her blood. She said it was a stranger who saved her friend’s life by giving her blood.
“In St. Lucia, we are fortunate enough to have blood donation services which promotes access to safe blood and blood products, but we need more than safe blood. We need enough blood to save lives when the need arises,”
Roger Winter, a councillor for the Vieux-Fort South Constituency Council, commended the college for its initiative and exhorted it to continue its blood donation drive.
“When you give blood, you donate a gift of life,” Winter said.
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 10 years with much success.
In an interview with this reporter after the event, IAU Public Relations Officer Sibi Gopalakrishnan said the college will continue to observe World Blood Donor Day and is satisfied with the public participation in the event over the years.