Jamaica, Bermuda headline regional World Blood Donor Day celebrationsFriday, June 11, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica and Bermuda are set to headline the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) regional celebrations for World Blood Donor Day.
The event will be livestreamed on PAHO social media pages on Monday, June 14 starting at 9:00am.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion while emphasising the positive impact of voluntary blood donors on national health systems. This year's theme is 'Give blood and keep the world beating'.
“This World Blood Donor Day, we will place special emphasis on the contribution of young people to ensuring a safe blood supply. Both Jamaica and Bermuda possess a strong youth population and we commend Dr the Honorable Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness of Jamaica and the Honorable Kim Wilson, Minister of Health of Bermuda for championing voluntary blood donation on the national and regional stage,” said Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi, PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
Data collected by PAHO/WHO suggests that people under 24 years old in Latin America and the Caribbean characterised a high percentage of blood donors in 2016 and 2017, representing 37.5 per cent and 30.6 per cent respectively. The organisation noted that increasingly, young people and youth organisations have been at the forefront of initiatives, such as the organisation of local blood drives, aimed at increasing national reserves of safe blood supplies.
“As nations grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a reduction in blood donations. However, the need for safe blood remains as our health systems deal with medical emergencies, support surgeries and offer specialised care to the vulnerable among us. Our best option for continued blood donations lies in encouraging our youth to embrace blood donation as a lifelong path,” Dr Theodore-Gandi said.
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