Belize Blood Donors Service encourages the public to become volunteer donors
Today, Friday, was celebrated as World Blood Donors Day and the Belize Volunteer Blood Donor Association held an official ceremony in Belize City to acknowledge all donors in the country.
The purpose of the occasion was also to spread awareness of the importance of blood donation. Several volunteer blood donors were in attendance at the ceremony. They were all presented with a certificate of appreciation for their contribution. .
This year’s theme was “Safe blood starts with me” and the organization encouraged their current donors to continue their contribution but to also encourage others to become voluntary donors. In doing so, the donors were reminded how important it is for them to maintain a healthy lifestyle as their blood saves lives every day.
Nurse Doreen Madrill of the Belize National Blood Transfusion Service said that the day is used to acknowledge all blood donors, especially the voluntary donors, those who give regularly.
“We can always depend on the voluntary donors because they help out the bank in times of need,” she said. “We have our voluntary donors and we appreciate them tremendously, but we would like to see more people come in and become voluntary donors.”
Nurse Madrill said that their aim is to have more voluntary donors because currently there are only 10 percent voluntary donors, and the other 90 percent is made up of replacement donors, which are donors who step in for someone only by request.
“We want to defray from that; we want to try to accomplish 100 percent voluntary, that’s what we’re trying to do every year,” she said.
Ronald Stuart was acknowledged as the volunteer donor who has made the most contributions to the Service. He has been a donor since 1995 and since then, he has given 56 units of blood.
Stuart said he was invited by colleagues to attend a seminar in 1995 and after listening to families talk about how a blood transfusion saved their loved one’s life, he understood the significance a blood donor had in the lives of others.
“Another day could not pass without me giving donations, from then until yesterday, which I gave my 56th donation,” he said. “Ever since I began, I gave donations whenever I can. It’s something that I look forward to, no need for the staff to remind me,” Stuart added.
Stuart said he encourages others to become a part of such a significant contribution to life.
“At any point in time we could quite likely be in need of blood and it is important, if we are able to, to give because you don’t want to be in a situation where you need to be stressed to find someone to give blood,” he said. “We can avoid that reality if we become voluntary donors and keep giving.”
Persons who are interested in becoming donors are invited to visit the office of the Belize National Blood Transfusion Service and find out more.
The Service hosts multiple blood drives for the year for different organizations, by request, to promote blood contribution and keep the blood bank supplied.
Article courtesy Amandala