Georgetown – The U.S. Embassy partnered with the Ministry of Health last week to conduct a blood drive at the Embassy. The Guyana National Blood Bank relies on voluntary donations of blood from generous civic minded people to ensure safe blood is available when needed to save a life. A near record forty-five (45) units of blood were donated. As in previous Mission blood drives, the diplomatic community, including the Mexican Ambassador and the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer, donated much needed blood.
The Embassy is pleased to continue this twelve-year partnership with the Ministry of Health as we work together to combat HIV/AIDS under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR). A major component of the success of this partnership is the development of an adequate, safe supply of blood for the people of Guyana. Over the past twelve years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided technical support to the Guyanese Ministry of Health on blood safety activities. Key initiatives include enhancing blood collection procedures and policies in Guyana, recruiting and retaining low-risk blood donors, and ensuring the testing of all donated blood units for HIV and other transfusion-transmissible infections. Physicians and other clinicians engaged in transfusion services receive education on proper utilization guidelines to reduce inappropriate use of blood as a clinical therapy, preventing shortages.
Thanks to this ongoing partnership and other efforts made throughout the country, Guyana will move closer to achieving the goal of collecting sufficient blood supplies to meet national needs.