Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

NBTS Receives Plasma Freezer from Kiwanis Club

Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson lauded the Kiwanis Club, other service clubs and Missions for partnering with the Ministry of Health to improve the public health sector.

Dr. Ferguson was speaking last night (Tuesday, September 15, 2015) during the handing over of a plasma freezer to the National Blood Transfusion Service from the Kiwanis Club of Kingston. The event was held at the New Kingston Conference Centre.

“When we look at what the service clubs are doing, it’s a lot to support the health sector. With the absence of good blood and volunteerism people can die so what the Kiwanis Club has done is commendable. You represent the best of Jamaica and I look forward with great anticipation to the use of this plasma freezer,” Dr. Ferguson said.

The NBTS collects between 28,000 – 30,000 units of blood annually. Of this number most are separated into useful blood components. Many persons receive red cells to treat blood loss or anaemia but there are other blood derived products like plasma and platelets that are used to treat bleeding disorders.

The Plasma freezer allows plasma and cryoprecipitate to be stored for up to a year which is significantly longer than the shelf life for other blood products which last only a month or less.

In the meantime, Dr. Ferguson said that while the country’s health system remains strong in comparison to that of many developed countries, there are still gaps and challenges that must be addressed. He said a partnership approach is essential to achieving the desired improvement in the health status of Jamaicans.