Post-secondary students take part in blood drive |08 April 2021
It has now become a tradition for the National Institute of Health and Social Studies to include blood drive campaigns on its scholar calendar of health promotional activities.
Yesterday morning at the Blood Transfusion Centre (BTC), students and staff from the institute, and others from the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (Site), the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and one from the police force, took part in a blood drive campaign. They were 32 people in total who took part in the blood drive organised by the institute to show their support for the Ministry of Health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The blood drive campaign to commemorate World Health Day and health workers’ day in the country, was also aimed at attracting other volunteers to join in donating blood which is lacking in the blood bank as fewer people, including regular blood donors, are coming forward to donate blood during the time of the pandemic.
Registrar of NIHSS, Vanessa Seth, said: “Our support to our parent ministry is of great importance to the institute and a blood drive will surely nurture our students to feel part of the health workforce.”
She stated that the activity was open to all and the platform created, especially towards the professional centres, will hopefully get the students to be more aware of the benefits of blood donation and perhaps will get the future health workers to donate blood regularly.
Most of the students said they were happy to take part in the blood drive for a good cause. They stated that apart from helping others in need of blood, no one knows if tomorrow they might also be the ones needing the same blood donated or that donated by others. They claimed that they would take part in future blood drives and have called on those who can to come forward to donate blood for a good cause.
“Every day there are people in need of blood and we have to one way or another help them to survive. Blood is very precious as it can save lives so I will encourage other people not to be afraid and to come down to give blood to save the lives of others,” said 18-year-old Kluivert Mathiot, a second year NIHSS student. It was the second time he donated blood on behalf of the institution.
“Last time I really wanted to come, but since I was sick I thought I would not be able to give blood. I might have been wrong but this time I decided to come and see for myself and everything is OK,” said 18-year-old Maybel Henriette, also a second year student.
Justina Hollanda, senior technologist at the Blood Transfusion Centre (BTC), said with the constant demand, blood is never enough, especially in this time of the pandemic when there are fewer people donating blood.
She further added that the centre for the moment has no blood group B+ available in its bank. She also noted that there is also a great demand for blood component, platelets or thrombocytes, which are small, colourless cell fragments in our blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding.
“So with the donation today, we will get to retrieve some of this component which is in great demand,” nurse Mathiot said, hailing the good initiative taken by the institute to organise the blood drive.
Platelets are made in our bone marrow, the sponge-like tissue inside our bones. Bone marrow contains stem cells that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
A person should be aged between 18 and 65 years of age, in good health and feeling well, must weigh at least 50kg, has no history of overseas travel for the past four months, must not be pregnant and breastfeeding and not have had the Covid-19 dose or any other vaccines two weeks prior, to be able to donate blood.
The accompanying photographs show some highlights of the blood donation drive yesterday.
Photos: Jude Morel