Blood drive adds more to local donor list

Friday June 15, 2018 Written by Published in Health
Ruth Horton gives a blood sample during yesterday's blood drive held by the Red Cross and the Ministry of Health. Ruth Horton gives a blood sample during yesterday's blood drive held by the Red Cross and the Ministry of Health.

The health ministry and the Cook Islands Red Cross Society held a blood drive yesterday to mark World Blood Day.

 

Representatives offered members of the public free health checks, and people who called at the Red Cross marquee were given their blood pressure, weight and blood sugar levels.

Those who wished to register as new blood donors were then asked to undergo a blood test, samples from which will be sent away to be screened for any potential problems.

Blood donation program coordinator Patience Vainerere-Maoate said the message was quite simple: “Blood saves lives”.

“We only have 260 registered blood donors at the moment which isn’t enough, so we need to encourage people to join the list. You never know when you can save a life”.

Vainerere-Maoate said that by lunchtime, they had already exceed their expected number of participants.

 “We had expected much less but we have already had close to 40 people come through.”

Rarotonga Hospital lab technician Theresa Tatuava said it had been a long time since they had received such a strong response from the public.

“We didn’t set a target for the day, as we have previously had very low numbers. It would be great to get more of the younger members of the public to donate.

“There are plenty of myths out there about giving blood, people are listening to the information that has been given out by the Red Cross in promoting voluntary blood donation.

And if you’re put off by the prospect of needles, Tatuava says they offer a numbing gel, to take away any pain, which will hopefully encourage more members of the public to donate blood.

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