GIS - Dec 21, 2012: A mega blood donation, organised by the Blood Donors Association and the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, was held yesterday at the Emmanuel Anquetil Building in Port Louis during which 1 825 pints of blood were collected.
In his address, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Lormus Bundhoo, said that the mega blood donation aims to address the shortage of blood during Christmas and New Year festivity period. “A stock of about 3 000 units of blood is needed which can last till the end of January”, he said.
Mr Bundhoo pointed out that it is crucial to maintain an adequate stock of safe blood and blood products of all blood groups at all times, while highlighting that an average of 150 pints of blood is used each day. He stated that in Mauritius, blood donation has steadily increased over the years and that the number of blood units collected from voluntary blood donors has increased from 25% in 1998 to 88% in 2010.
He encourages voluntary donors to donate blood more than once since a person can safely donate blood four times a year. “Adequacy and safety of blood largely depends on the voluntarism of people to donate blood”, he said.
To make blood donation convenient, the Ministry has adopted a policy of going towards people rather than wait for them to come to hospitals for blood donation. Hence, mobile caravans are being provided to collect blood all over the country. In Mauritius, 100% of donated blood is tested for infections like HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
Mr Bundhoo further stated that it is imperative that blood safety measures are maintained at all times. To that end, a haemovigilance system has been recently introduced to reduce or to remove adverse reactions associated with transfusion of blood products and help our National Blood Transfusion Service to further improve the quality of blood products.