Health Ministry honours blood donors for their lifesaving contributions

The Ministry of Health paid tribute to the several heroes who have made significant contributions to the nation’s blood transfusion efforts as part of commemorative activities planned for ‘World Blood Donor Day’.

This day is celebrated under the theme “20 years of celebrating giving: Thank you, blood donors”.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony commemorating ‘World Blood Donor Day’

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, highlighted the remarkable shift from paid to voluntary blood donation over the years.

“We have been able to move our donation where people were paid to donate to one where it is completely voluntarily driven and that is a testament to the many persons around the country who every year donate not once per year but several times per year,” he remarked at Marian Academy, Friday Afternoon.

The minister commended the generosity of countless individuals who donate multiple times annually, emphasising their critical role in meeting the nation’s blood supply needs.

In 2023, Guyana achieved a historic milestone, with 11,000 units of blood donated, surpassing previous records.

Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo giving remarks

Meanwhile, Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo reflected on the significance of this achievement, noting that decades ago, 500 units were considered a major accomplishment.  

The director general attributed this progress to the visionary leadership and strategic initiatives spearheaded by Minister Anthony, including the establishment of blood banks in every region of the country.

This sentiment was also shared by renowned donor, Jules Gibson who shared a glimpse into his blood donation journey which began in 1992 after a family member’s life-threatening accident.

Gibson’s consistent donations later proved critical when his sister urgently needed a blood transfusion, underscoring the profound impact donors have on their communities.

Jules Gibson, renown blood donor

“I will continue to be a donor as long as I can physically donate because when we donate blood think about saving lives, restoring health, and promoting recovery,” he emphasised.

Beyond their lifesaving impact, blood donations also offer significant health benefits to donors.

Each donation serves as a mini health check-up, involving rigorous testing for infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C. 

The government’s collaboration with the Pan-American Association has significantly reduced treatment costs for affected patients, resulting in a substantial increase in successful treatments.

The celebrations not only honours past achievements but also inspire future generations to continue this noble tradition of giving, ensuring a sustainable and robust blood supply for years to come.

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