Health ministry targets young blood donorsTuesday, June 15, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, says that this year, special attention will be placed on the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply through voluntary donation.
“In Jamaica, we have long set a national target to strengthen the voluntary blood donation system with a focus on youth. Persons between 18 and 24 years old offer a valuable resource for expansion of voluntary blood donation in Jamaica,” Tufton noted in his World Blood Donor Day message yesterday.
A major goal of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is to strengthen the voluntary unpaid blood donation system with emphasis on young people.
In recent years, youngsters in the 17 to 24 age group have been targeted for sensitisation in an effort to recruit them as donors.
It is to be noted that people can donate blood from as early as age 16 with parental consent.
Tufton said he is encouraged by the knowledge that the 20 to 40 age group leads the way in donating blood on the island, and called for people aged 17 to 19 to come forward as volunteers.
He noted that blood is as life-giving as it is life-changing and is vitally important for the achievement of universal access to healthcare.
Tufton said that the theme for World Blood Donor Day 2021, 'Give Blood and Keep the World Beating', highlights the essential contribution of blood donors and the universal need for consistent donation.
The minister cited recent data from the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), which indicated that as at April 2020, the entity supplied 55 per cent of all blood requests in Jamaica, falling short of its target to supply 75 per cent of blood requests across the island by 20 per cent.
He applauded those who take the time to donate, advocate and encourage others to give blood in order to save lives and urged them to continue in order to meet national demand.
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