Blood bank appeals for blood

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The National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank) is appealing to members of the public to donate blood to meet expected demand with the intensification of violence in downtown Kingston.

Meanwhile, the government has activated the Emergency Operations Centre to help coordinate the response of the health sector, including hospital security.

“It is important that we address the welfare of patients and staff as best as possible while ensuring the continuing function of our major health facilities.

We have therefore put a number of measures in place in an effort to continue to provide health care to the people of Jamaica in this difficult environment,” said minister of health Rudyard Spencer.

As part of measures to be immediately implemented:

- Kingston Public, Victoria Jubilee, Spanish Town hospitals as well as the Bustamante Hospital for Children will only be offering emergency services;

- Elective surgeries have been suspended;

- All outpatient clinics have been suspended until further notice;

- Seven health centres in the Kingston and St Andrew region remain open at this time. They are Harbour View, Glen Vincent, Gordon Town, Bull Bay, Mavis Bank, Dallahs and Windward Road Health Centres.

Individuals can visit other blood collection centres across the island including University Hospital of the West Indies, National Chest, May Pen, Mandeville, Cornwall Regional, Savanna-La-Mar, Falmouth, St Ann’s Bay and Port Antonio Hospitals.

They are, however, advised to avoid the Central Blood bank on Slipe Pen Road as no collection of blood will be done at that facility due to the current unrest in the area.