West Demerara Regional Hospital gets $30M blood bank

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, on Tuesday commissioned a $30 million blood bank at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, in Region Three.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the minister said building and upgrading blood banking facilities is an area of priority for the ministry this year.

RHO cutting the ribbon to open the new blood bank

“One of the things that we want to do is to improve health services generally, and as we look at how we are going to improve health services, we felt that this is a very important area that we have to bring more focus on,” the minister said

He noted that the government has been working steadfastly to decentralise blood banking services across Guyana. The minister said over time, every region should be able to provide the service as they will allow persons donating to be screened and treated for various illnesses.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P.

“If that blood has a pathogen that we detect then we’ll not be able to use that blood, but it would also tell us that this person has whatever pathogen…and for many years we have been screening blood and we’ve been detecting people with Hepatitis C,” Dr. Anthony related.

Additionally, the facility will be provided with all the necessary equipment for blood storage. This will allow the hospital to perform surgeries faster and save more lives.

Minister Anthony said within a month, the blood bank will be fully equipped and functioning.

Meanwhile, Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Erica Forte welcomed the new facility noting that, “this opening is not just symbolic of the government’s push and drive to get things done because in this short time we’re seeing the opening of a very first blood bank in this region, that just shows how efficiently and speedily things are being done.”

Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Erica Forte.

She said the region is one of the highest blood donating regions across the country. As such she is hopeful that the facility will allow for more persons to come forward and donate.

“We have persons here who are willing to donate. We do a fair number of blood drives…now that there is a facility that is easily accessible to them, I expect to see even more donations in the near future,” Forte noted.

Also attending the opening ceremony were Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Pedro Lewis and Regional Executive Officer, Mr. Jagnarine Somwar.

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