Local organisation assists in blood drive

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Forty-eight pints of blood were obtained from volunteers during a recent one-day blood drive at the American University of Antigua (AUA) campus in Coolidge.
The effort, spearheaded by Club Lyfe is part of its on going effort to increase blood donations on the island.
The affiliate of the Red Cross Society is collaborating with government and public organisations to conduct blood drives.
 Club Lyfe’s media promotions coordinator, Kadeem Joseph, told OBSERVER media that the organisation has become aware that blood drives within civil society organisations are more productive than drives that generally target public audiences.
During the exclusive interview, Joseph highlighted that AUA is just one example of the numerous organisations that have joined forces with Club Lyfe, a non-profit organisation, for voluntary blood donations in the twin-island state.
The drive at AUA was held on Thursday, April 26.
Joseph said that Club Lyfe has been asking various organisations to “put on their own blood drives with the club’s assistance” and “AUA tries to do a blood drive every semester”. 
“Our focus has been collaborating with institutions to ensure that we have some more organisations who are pushing [blood drives] within their circles …. We are trying to change the culture of blood donations, the team feels that if we can get more organisations to come on board so that it can be part of their annual calendar, there would be more blood donations,“ he elaborated.
According to him, in public blood drives “people often feel someone else will go,” but when conducted by organisations people feel more obliged to participate. They also feel more inclined to give blood after seeing their friends donate, and it is more convenient for donors to give blood right at their work place, school, church – whichever organisation hosts the drive. 
He also said that when civil society organisations hold blood drives, they tend to be better able to predict how many donors would participate in the exercise.
“There is another blood drive coming up next month in collaboration with Alorica which has been known as … the call centre,” Joseph said as he highlighted the need to increase donations, particularly with the approaching hurricane and carnival seasons.
“Throughout carnival we do have an increased number of accidents … and we don’t want any family to go up to the hospital and get that message that is normally given out, that we have to have donors come up because there is a shortage of blood.”
Phlebotomists (those trained to draw blood) and equipment are brought to the location of the organisation’s blood drive by the club,” he explained. 
According to Joseph, a lot of the recent blood drives are organisation-centered but there are still a few blood drives in which the general public is invited. He added that blood donations can also be given at any time at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC). 

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