Mauritius Health minister appeals to the population to donate blood

Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius (PANA) – Mauritian Health and Quality of Life Minister, Mr Anwar Husnoo, on Wednesday appealed to the population to donate blood as frequently as possible and encourage more people to help collect 55,000 pints of blood every year.

He was speaking at the opening of a workshop on “Blood Sustainability-Present and Future’” organised a day ahead of World Blood Donor Day 2018 to be celebrated on Thursday.

Mr Husnoo said a blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. “An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors,” he said.

He said transfusion of blood and blood products save millions of lives every year.

Mr Husnoo highlighted that the need for blood in Mauritius is on the rise due to high prevalence of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer while the blood donor pool is gradually shrinking for the same reasons and an aging population.

It is therefore important to motivate, educate and inform the population on the importance of blood donation, he added.

The Health Minister believed that young people who tend to be healthy, idealistic and motivated, are an excellent pool of potential voluntary unpaid blood donors.

“Recruiting and retaining youth donors improves the long-term safety and sufficiency of a country’s blood supply,” he said.

For his part, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative, Dr Laurent Musango, said Mauritius has made significant progress to improve the safety of blood, underlining the numerous measures taken the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) which have helped to improve the quality of blood transfusion and the service in the island.

They include: increase in voluntary blood donors from 60% in 2006 to 86.3% in 2017; separation of blood into components; ISO certification of the NBTS; and computerisation of all blood transfusion activities.

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on 14 June around the world to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
-0- PANA NA/MA 13June2018

13 june 2018 11:56:26

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