By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
AS countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor’s Day today, a “Drip Drip Challenge” is being hosted by the Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama on Saturday to encourage voluntary blood donations and to raise awareness of the need for regular donation.
Lededra Marche, president of the Blood Donor’s Society, said the event will take place at the Rand Memorial Hospital’s training centre from 11am to 3pm, and that trophies will be awarded to the individual and group which brings in the most blood donors.
Residents, businesses, organisations and churches are encouraged to participate and support this very important initiative.
“This is our first ever ‘Drip Drip Challenge’, and we want to raise awareness for the need for the donation of blood in the community, and make it fun,” Ms Marche said.
Ms Marche said there are two categories under the challenge: the individual category where persons can bring in as many people as they wish as donors, including family members or a group category is which open to churches, the business community and other organisations.
Entry forms are available at The Freeport News, Kiss FM 97, at the Rand Memorial Hospital, and also can be downloaded from the GB Blood Donors website.
Dr Catherine Adderley, vice president of the GB Blood Donors Society, said that the World Health Organisation designated June 14 as World Blood Donors Day in 2005, with the purpose of highlighting the importance of voluntary blood donation.
She noted said that with a population such as Grand Bahama’s, it is important that there is an adequate supply of blood available.
“A lot of people do not realise that blood is disposable so their donation today in a month’s time would have to be replaced because it has an expiration date, and we really need a viable pool of willing donors on a continuous basis to maintain our blood supply, and also to assist in time of need,” she said.
She is encouraging persons to support the event and become member of their blood donor registry.
Dr Mandy Pedican, medical advisor of the Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama, said when persons come to the hospital lab they will have to fill out a questionnaire as part of the interview screening process.
“We want to make sure our donors are safe and able to donate. We want to encourage persons to have a good meal prior to coming in, nothing too fatty, but a nice healthy meal about 45 minutes to an hour before coming in to donate,” she said.
Dr Pedican said donating is a comfortable process and there are well trained individuals who it a positive experience.
She stated that donating blood can save the lives of three persons. “It is a gift that does not cost you anything to give, and your body replaces it within a few days,” she explained. “It is an inexpensive way to give, but it such a priceless commodity.”