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Gambia observes World Blood Donor Day

Jun 15, 2011, 3:15 PM | Article By: Momodou Faal

The National Blood Transfusion Services of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in collaboration with partners, yesterday commemorated World Blood Donor Day at the Serekunda General Hospital in Kanifing.

The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘More blood, more lives.’

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Fatim Badjie, said transfusion of blood service is essential as it aids effective health delivery system.

Health Minister Badjie called on the general public to donate blood to the health facilities across the country to save lives, adding that the First Lady of the nation is at the forefront in promoting blood donation in The Gambia.

“Blood is essential for everybody’s life, especially the sick and pregnant women,” she noted.

Madam Badjie thanked Trust Bank Gambia Limited for exclusively funding the World Blood Donor Day event, and the World Health Organization for their support towards hosting the event.

She reiterated her ministry’s support towards blood donation campaigns in the country.

Delivering the message of the WHO Regional director for Africa Dr Luis Sambo on the occasion, the acting WHO representative in The Gambia, Momodou Gassama, said that blood donation and transfusion ensures substantial reduction of the number of children, women and men at risk of death from haemorrhage or severe anemia.  “It thereby saves lives as reflected in the theme of the Day’s commemoration,” he said. “We take vigorous and appropriate measures not only at increasing blood collection but also at setting up functional and effective systems of distribution.”

He calls on women and men of goodwill to join the membership of such associations to enable them to innovate, invigorate and amplify their efforts to prevent any “further deaths of patients in our hospital for lack of blood”.

Oreme Joiner, General Manager of Trust Bank, who are the main sponsors of the event, said the bank is highly committed to its corporate social responsibility, which includes contributing to the development of health, education and other sectors of the country.

Other speakers on the occasion included Dr Mackie Taal, Director of the National Public Health Lab and Deputy Mayor of KMC, Yusupha Sanyang.

At the end of the ceremony, certificates were presented to blood donor heroes and some schools received Trust Bank sponsored trophies for being the highest donors of blood, namely St Augustine’s Senior School, and Muslim and Kotu Senior School.