Antigua gets mobile blood collection unit

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The government has secured a mobile blood collection unit, a donation from the Blood and Transplant Division of the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom

Around the middle of last year, Minister of Health and the Environment Molwyn Joseph and senior Ministry of Health technicians, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rhonda Sealey Thomas, held discussions with a Consultant from NHS, Rudi Page, on ways in which the organization could assist the health ministry to procure medical supplies and equipment, and in any other way co-operate with the government in providing high quality, easily accessible and sustainable health care services to all.

This meeting followed one that was organized by Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the UK, Ambassador Karen-Mae Hill, with the health minister, senior Antigua and Barbuda health technicians and NHS Reps, in London last year.

The donation of the mobile blood bank has come as a result of those discussions between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and the NHS on the country’s health system transformation programme. The ultimate goal of the  programme is to provide high-quality care, easily accessible and sustainable services.

The establishment of a public health laboratory was another area discussed during the 2016 London meeting, but this initiative will take place at a later date.

A mobile laboratory unit to collect specimens from qualifying patients of the community healthcare system is also being planned.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealy Thomas, said that the mobile blood collection unit will be officially launched on June 14th, which coincides with World Blood Donor Day (WBD).

The blood bank at the hospital has the capacity to hold some 300 units but on an average, they would have 25-30 units. That is really a crisis situation.

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