ST. JUDE Hospital is the recipient of a mobile blood bank unit donated by the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom to the government and people of St. Lucia.
The donation of the DAF 45 Series, custom-built mobile blood bank was made possible through the persistent efforts of the St. Lucia National Committee in the U.K.
The vehicle was officially presented to the hospital during a ceremony held last Wednesday at the George Odlum Stadium, which has housed the hospital for the past eight years.
At the ceremony, remarks were made by the Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Merlene Fredericks; Officer in Charge of St. Jude Hospital, Dr. Sylvestre Francois; and Chairman of the Board of Directors of St. Jude Hospital, Dr. Ulric Mondesir.
Remarks were also heard from Bertram Leon from the St. Lucia National Committee in the U.K. Also in attendance at Wednesday’s ceremony were members of the St. Lucia International Association.
“This machine is magnificent in its spaciousness, its ad hoc appointment of equipment, and its design build for purpose. We look forward to many years of its productive use,” said Dr. Francois.
The blood bank will be utilized to collect blood from surrounding communities to ensure that St. Jude Hospital maintains a constant supply of blood to meet the vital needs of its patients in their treatment.
St. Jude Hospital is deeply grateful to the St. Lucia National Committee in the United Kingdom and Leon, in particular, who began negotiations with the National Health Service of the United Kingdom as far back as 2013 to secure this mobile blood bank on behalf of the hospital.
Following the ceremony, the blood bank was blessed by Pastor Wilson Collymore of the Vieux Fort Evangelical Church.
Dr Francois added: “I would like to appeal to all healthy St. Lucians to become voluntary blood donors. It is safe to donate a unit of blood at least once a year. This will ensure that there is blood available to treat accident victims in their time of need. I would like to see shortages of blood become a thing of the past. It is a simple matter to contact the St. Jude Hospital or Victoria Hospital blood banks to schedule a donation.”
St. Lucians are encouraged to donate blood to the mobile blood bank when it comes to their area. St. Jude Hospital reminds the public that donating blood saves lives. The blood you donate today could save your life tomorrow.