Health June 13, 2024 - 3:18 pm

Dominican Red Cross proposes task force to promote blood donation culture

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Red Cross has proposed creating a working group comprised of various sectors that provide blood services and blood products to collectively promote a culture of voluntary blood donation in Dominican society.

The proposal was made by the president of the Red Cross in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Miguel Sanz Flores, during the relaunch of the “Save Me with Your Pint, Donate Blood” campaign. This annual initiative coincides with the celebration of World Voluntary Blood Donor Day on June 14.

Dr. Sanz Flores emphasized that this working group should include government authorities as leaders, health risk managers, and private or non-profit institutions that offer blood services or work towards fostering a culture of voluntary blood donation. He offered the expertise of the Dominican Red Cross’s National Network of Blood Banks, which has 75 years of experience, to support this initiative.

He highlighted the need for better education on the importance, protocols, requirements, and benefits of blood donation. He noted that while the Dominican people are generally supportive, they often lack awareness about the significance of blood donation, leading to a persistent blood deficit.

Benefits of Donating Blood
Dr. César Matos Moronta, director of the National Network of Blood Banks of the Dominican Red Cross, encouraged the public to donate blood voluntarily and altruistically to help save lives and improve their health. He explained that blood donation stimulates blood circulation, promoting a healthier cardiovascular system. Donating blood triggers the production of new, healthy blood cells, enhancing the overall condition of the circulatory system.

He also pointed out that a single pint of donated blood can save three lives, as it can be separated into red blood cells, platelets, and plasma, each of which can be used to save a life. “Donating blood is an act of life because it improves your health and helps save three lives,” he emphasized.

Voluntary Donation
Despite a slight increase in voluntary blood donations in recent months, the rate remains low in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Red Cross, a private humanitarian and non-profit entity, provides about 50% of the blood supply in the country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), countries should aim for at least 4% of their population to donate blood voluntarily, with an ideal target of 20%. Currently, the Dominican Republic only reaches 2.64%.

Dr. Matos Moronta reported that in the first six months of this year, the Red Cross registered 28,982 people intending to donate blood at the Blood Bank of the National District. Of these, 16,012 qualified, with 15,588 being replacement donors and only 424 donating voluntarily and altruistically, representing 2.64 percent. He also noted that the Red Cross dispatched 16,152 units of blood from its headquarters during the same period last year.

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