Red Cross starts 2020 with blood drive

The Samoa Red Cross Society (S.R.C.S.) has kicked off 2020 with a drive to secure a supply of blood in the blood bank needed to save lives.

The S.R.C.S.'s Health Officer, Aiolupotea Goretti Wulf, said it was the organisation's collaborative work with the Ministry of Health to ensure there was enough supply of all types of blood every day.

She said the Society aims to conduct a blood drive every week if possible and they are calling out to businesses and Churches to join the cause.

"We try to look for work places and Congregations that we can reach out to for blood donations," she said.

"And form the past, we have have many Congregations that we've reached out to and also other work places that are usually doing this good work of donating blood.

"We still have other work places and communities that we're yet to reach this year."

Donating blood is of free will and no one is forced to give blood from a work place that is subject to a blood drive.

Last week, Samoa Red Cross held a blood drive at the A.N.Z. Bank, where A.N.Z. staff members and some customers that donated blood.

Last year, Samoa Red Cross Society urgently appealing to the public to donate blood as supplies reach dangerously low levels because of the measles epidemic.  

Demand for blood has skyrocketed from an average level of 15 pints a week to 20 pints a day, as patients receiving treatment for measles often need of transfusions for their treatment, putting a massive strain on national stores.  

The shortage in blood banks was for both Savaii and Upolu. 

The role of the Society is to recruit and register blood donors; they have had a total of 3000 on their registry since they began recruiting. 

The Blood Donor Center (located at the old maternity ward) is currently the only place where donations are being accepted. 

"We urge our regular blood donors to please come through to donate,” she said. 

To eliminate the challenges of traveling for potential donors, the S.R.C.S. can be contacted to pick them up and drop them off if anyone who wants to donate does not have transportation. 

"That is part of the Red Cross' work everyday is to pick up and drop off donors to the hospital who call in wanting to donate, plus refreshments to accommodate them after the process,” she said. 

The S.R.C.S. can be reached through head office number, 24334 or Aiolupotea through 7720695. 

A blood donor is able to donate 4 times a year, once every three months.

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