Low turnout for Seychelles' blood donation drive
A blood donation drive by young people in August. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Health authorities in the Seychelles have expressed disappointment at the low turn-out of at its latest blood donation drive held on Friday.
The Blood Transfusion Centre (BTC) in the Ministry of Health organised a blood donation on Friday at the Seychelles Hospital from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The head of the BTC, Elizabeth Banda, told SNA that since the drive began on Friday morning "the only people who have turned up are those who have patients on the ward that they are giving blood to."
She said that other donors were people from work places in the county who had decided to donate their blood the same and "by coincidence on the day that we have set for us to get new volunteer donors."
Despite the low turn out, Banda told SNA that the BTC "operates on an everyday basis, so people can still come in and give blood."
Blood donation is a continuous exercise through which people may continue to voluntarily give blood all year round at the BTC which is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Banda said she was optimistic that people will turn up later in the drive and increase the number of regular donors.
Another one is planned for December 16 for those who have not travelled within the last four months.
All blood donations are screened for infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, and C, and syphilis prior to being used.
The Ministry of Health organised the blood donation day as it has noticed that during the festive season the BTC typically sees a decline in blood donors which greatly impacts the care of patients in need.
The centre currently has 200 regular donors and it is open for people who are 18 years and above, have a healthy count of haemoglobin and have healthy weight and blood pressure. Donors will get a full health screening for blood pressure, haemoglobin, viral screening and blood type.
This is also beneficial for the person donating blood as it helps identify infections and for them to get treatment and follow-up.