Kingston, Jamaica: “Give a drop of love,” is the call from the reigning LASCO Ambassadors — LASCO/Nurse’s Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Nurse of the Year Treveen Palmer, LASCO/ Ministry of Education (MoE) Principal of the Year Kandi-Lee Crooks-Smith, and LASCO/Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Police Officer of the Year Det. Sgt. Ava Lindo. The collaborative effort of the LASCO Ambassadors in aid of the Blood Bank culminates at the blood drive to be held on Friday, March 11 at 9am at the Police Officers’ Club.
The drive, which Det. Sgt. Ava Lindo said is dear to her heart, will be further boosted by the support of the 2016-2017 LASCO/JCF Police Officer of the Year Finalists, whose week of activities is slated for March 6 to 10, 2016.
“I have a rare blood type, so I know the importance of giving blood,” revealed Lindo. “Plus, I recognize the acute shortage for blood currently faced by the Blood Bank (National Blood Transfusion Service Jamaica) and wanted to give back.”
The drive aims to collect 500 units from across the island. ‘Drop of Love’ donations will also be collected at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James, the St Ann’s Bay Hospital in St Ann, Port Antonio Hospital in Portland, and Mandeville Regional Hospital in Manchester.
“Look beyond the needle, the prick is for a short time,” shared Keishawna Pinnock, assistant blood drive organizer at the Blood Bank. “People need to know that giving one unit of blood can save three lives.”
The units collected at the ‘Drop of Love’ blood drive will increase the donor pool, and boost the assistance given to hospitals and health centers served by the Blood Bank.
Pinnock also detailed the benefits of giving blood.
“When you come in to give blood, you will get a mini check-up. We want to ensure that we have healthy donors, fit enough to give,” Pinnock said.
And for the potential donors who are concerned about the hot-topic viruses — Chikungunya, Zika, H1N1 and Dengue — there is no way they can be transmitted during the process.
“We have trained the collectors to investigate at the screening process, we are taking extra precautions. While we are taking your blood pressure, pulse and weight, we will ask about recent travel and how you are feeling in general,” explained Pinnock.
She also revealed that there are special health benefits for men who donate.
“During the screenings, we will check the iron levels with the small prick of a needle. For men, we can discover if the iron levels are too high. It is good for men to give blood, because when too much iron builds up in the blood, it can lead to colon cancer, strokes, and heart disease. The best way to reduce iron levels for men is to donate blood,” Pinnock said.