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Cayman Islands Minister of Health’s Message – World Blood Donor Day 14 June 2019

Message by

Minister of Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour on

World Blood Donor Day

14 June 2019

Each year the Cayman Islands is proud to join the global family celebrating World Blood Donor Day.

This year’s theme “safe blood for all” seeks to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. It is also a time when we express our appreciation for the generosity of those donors who help save millions of lives every year.

This creates an almost unimaginable demand for safe blood that can only be met through regular blood donations. There is no better way to ensure individuals and communities have access to safe blood transfusions whenever and wherever they are needed.

Many of you will already be personally aware of the kinds of situations which make a blood transfusion necessary.

These include:

·        Women with pregnancy- and childbirth- associated bleeding;

·        Children with severe anemia;

·        Patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions;

·        People with traumatic injuries in emergencies, disasters and accidents; and

·        Patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures.

We all know someone who lived through one of these experiences, thanks to the selflessness of our local donor community.

Yet there is always a need for more blood. As such the donor community is something that we must cherish and protect but also take steps to grow.

We can do this in part by ensuring the safety and well-being of blood donors. In particular ensuring safe and sufficient blood supplies requires the development of a nationally coordinated blood transfusion service based on voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations.

This is a goal which challenges many countries around the world. Here in the Cayman Islands we are fortunate to have the Cayman Islands Blood Bank which was created 20 years ago to support the Health Services Authority.

This wonderful group works to grow the pool of voluntary donors; to act as a liaison between donors, the HSA and other organisations; as well as to encourage best practice surrounding blood donation.

As such, on this World Blood Donor Day, the Cayman Islands Government and the Ministry of Health are proud to recognise the life-saving work done by the team at the Cayman Islands Blood Bank.

Their contribution ensure that all persons in the Cayman Islands can access one of the most vital resources in the world at no cost should they have need.

I would urge anyone reading this, who is eligible, to join their ranks.  Information about eligibility is available from Interested persons should also visit the organisation’s Facebook page to learn more about the vibrant community of local donors and how they can join.

On behalf of the Cayman Islands Government and Ministry of Health, we thank the Blood Bank and its members for their contributions, and look forward to another year of working together to enhance access to health services in the Cayman Islands.



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