Bahamas Sickle Cell Association Blood Donation Raises Awareness – Eye Witness News

Nassau, Bahamas — Savasio Armbrister went to the mall to buy a new cell phone, but a chance encounter with a member of the Bahamas Sickle Cell Society inspired him to donate his first pint of blood. became.

Just one pint can save up to three lives, according to a BSCA statement.

“I always wanted to do it, but I was scared,” Armbrister said.

“I’m not as scared as I used to be, so I just decided to do it. We should donate blood to help those in need.”

BSCA says donating blood is a quick and easy way to save lives. However, he noted that many Bahamians are hesitant to undergo surgery unless the person in need is a relative or close friend.

As a result, the blood bank at Princess Margaret Hospital is chronically short of blood, putting patients’ lives in danger.

Chief among them are those diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD). It is a painful inherited blood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Patients with SCD may require multiple blood transfusions over the course of their lives.

That’s because Sickler has abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. It leads to deformed, crescent-shaped blood cells that can’t carry enough oxygen. They also have a shorter lifespan than normal. Worse, as these C-shaped red blood cells travel through small blood vessels, they can stick together. That means blockages can cause pain, organ damage, and stroke.

“Making this blood donation is not only replenishing the blood supply of the blood bank, but also identifying those who are willing to donate blood. Bahamas Sickle Cell Society President Christine Benneby said:

Benneby, a married mother of one, had to undergo blood transfusions three times between October and December last year.

she is not alone. Regular blood transfusions are used to treat anemia and help prevent other symptoms associated with sickle cell disease, such as stroke and acute chest syndrome, which blocks blood flow to the lungs.

“When you have a sick person who needs a blood transfusion, it’s a life-or-death situation. To ensure their quality of life, we have to do it very quickly. That’s it,” said Amanda Dean, the association’s secretary.

Dean’s daughter is sick. She received her first blood transfusion when she was only six months old. She turned seven when she was hospitalized in July of this year, when her blood tests revealed she had developed antibodies from her previous transfusions, making it even harder to find a donor for her. It got harder.

The association emphasized that this is why blood drives such as the one held in conjunction with the Daniel Ferguson Gibbs Foundation at the Marathon Mall on Sept. 17 are so important.

A weekend event in New Providence, held in a hallway near the BTC store, drew a small but steady stream of people to get tested for sickle cell disease and donate blood. It was also an opportunity to raise awareness about blood diseases.

At Exuma, BSCA Director Kerisca Kemp organized a similar initiative at the Exuma Primary Health Care Centre.

“Most people who attended the screening did not know what sickle cell disease is or what it means. We shared knowledge of the disease and distributed brochures and leaflets. We’re making inroads, but our work is being cut out for us,” Kemp said.

Among those who donated blood on Saturday was Dameka Roberts. She was accompanied by her son Aljay and sorority Delta her Sigma her Sita.

“We have decided to do this in memory of our mourner Daniel Ferguson Gibbs. It’s imperative that we all take a stand to give when we can.”

Valderez Miller, Roberts Sorority President, Nassau, Bahamas Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Chapter, presented a $1,000 check to the Daniel Ferguson Gibbs Foundation. Former BSCA director and sorority director Ferguson Gibbs died of sickle cell disease earlier this year.

Most recently, the sorority lost another member, Talia Cooper, to SCD.

“We thought it was important to always be the guardians of our sisters, even in death. That’s why we’re here today to support the Foundation and the Bahamas Sickle Cell Society,” he said. Miller said.

Throughout September, Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the association has focused on raising awareness and educating the wider community about SCD. Advocacy groups work throughout the year to provide financial assistance to people with sickle cell disease and their families.

“Not only are we working to increase our membership, but we are also working to measure how prevalent sickle cell disease is in the Bahamas,” Benneby said.

“We will continue to call for free sickle cell screening at birth and during blood donations like this one, with the goal of creating a national sickle cell registry.”

Other long-term goals of the association include transforming the accident and emergency experience across hospitals in the Bahamas. Expand your organization’s physical presence to more family islands. Establish a home to provide temporary accommodation for sickle cell warriors traveling from the Family Islands to New Providence for treatment. Drafting, passing, and enforcing sickle cell therapy.

Those interested in participating in the BSCA have the opportunity to assist in administration. education; social and support; fundraising and fundraising as well. Bahamas Sickle Cell Association Blood Donation Raises Awareness – Eye Witness News

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