(NewsroomPanama)Expats, Panamanian, local hospitals NGOs and the Ministry of Health have combined to to launch a national awareness and donation program to build up blood supplies.
Labeled “Blood for Everyone” the program kicked off at a press conference at the Santo Tomas hospital with American and Canadian expat residents lining up to make the first donations.
“Our main objective is to stimulate both Panamanians and Expats to unite to raise awarness of the constant need for all residents to actively participate in voluntary blood donations, on a regular basis, on an Emergency basis or both” said a campaign spokesperson.
Blood bank reserves in Panama are at a low level , with upcoming national and seasonal events increasing the demand as more vehicles take to the highways.
The campaign is seeking to create an “emergency blood donor call list” (EBDCL) Although never under obligation to donate, participants in the Emergency Blood Donor Call List can choose to be called in one of only three different types of emergency need for his/her blood type, but are also given the option of adding their names to the regular blood donor call list (a call every 4 months). Blood in Panama can be kept for a maximum of only 35 days,
There will also be a strong emphasis on education. Past campaigns have suffered from a lack of educational activities, which has led to stagnation in Panama’s voluntary blood donations, and to many myths and misunderstandings about blood donation.
The Campaign is also asking universities, companies, churches, and social organizations to add at least one activity to their 2011 calendar to either offer educational activities or have direct participation in the donation of blood.
Both hospitals will be receiving donations and additions to the Emergency Blood Donor Call list during regular Blood Clinic hours of operation (Monday through Friday of 7:00 a.m.-3: 00 p.m. and Saturdays of 9:00 -12 a.m.
As a thank you, each person who makes a blood donation or registers in the Emergency Blood Donor Call List will be receiving an entry form to win one of several Grand Prizes along with a coupon good for either a wine glass or a mug of beer with their meal purchase at Rincon Aleman (on Calle 51, Bella Vista.)Prizes will be drawn on December 31 at a New Year’s Eve Party to benefit FUGSAVINI.