Antigua launches mobile blood donation unit

Health Minister being interviewed by Amar Spencer outside mobile blood donation unit (ABS Photo)

Health Minister Molwyn Joseph has said that the operationalisation of a mobile blood unit is in keeping with his goal to modernise the health care system here.

He said voluntary blood donations at the height of a crisis was never a good management practice.

“And when we looked at our needs, the need for a mobile unit was high on the agenda. This was not by accident, it came out of a need to improve the health care system.”

Health Minister Molwyn Joseph

The health minister said, last year, there was a shortage of 3874 units of blood while this year 2879 units were needed, but only 1582 were available – a shortage of 1297.

He told a handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Health this morning that the government has shown a commitment to making the necessary investments in health.

As a testament to this, Joseph said a mobile mammography unit “to get our women to screen early” will also be procured.

President of the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross Michael Joseph said the mobile unit will increase the number of blood drives and make planning easier.

He too said, “in the area of voluntary blood donations we are significantly behind. However, with the blood donation unit, it will make catching up way easier.”

The launch of the unit coincided with World Blood Donor Day.

The mobile blood collection unit is a donation from the Blood and Transplant Division of the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom.


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