Current Affairs
Appeals to employers to give a two-hour concession to workers in order to donate blood

The Medical Director of the Blood Transfusion National Service, Dr Alex Aquilina, said that blood donation should remain an altruistic donation without any award or compensation, even to ensure that blood is donated voluntarily by persons. He added that he doesn’t see workers being excused from work to donate blood, however they can be given a two-hour work concession. Meanwhile, an agreement has been reached so that Local Councils organize initiatives with residents on blood donation.

Despite the challenge to collect an average of 50 bags of blood daily, Dr Aquilina argues that the altruistic donation of blood applies also to workers and appealed to employers to join in the generous donation of blood.

Dr Alex said “if a person takes a day off, I don’t think it remains voluntary; however if one takes an hour or two off from work and if the employer gives a concession to the worker to leave at three instead of at the normal five to donate blood, this will be a great assistance for us”.

An average of 30 patients benefit daily from blood donations. He said that some 16,400 blood bags were donated last year, which exactly served for patients needs.

“If blood is not in supply, certain cancer disease cannot be treated because part of the treatment is as a side effect of the treatment of extracting from the marrow, it cannot produce blood cells and therefore they need blood. Take leukemia in children, even many cancers in adults; however you have operations such as caesarian, it cannot be done if there is no blood available, even if rarely they need blood but the risk is there”, Dr Aquilina added.

Last year, there were 22,000 persons who donated blood however 5,000 persons were found unable to donate blood due to various reasons, including low blood level, were on medicines or because shortly before they visited countries where there was infectious disease, he said.

In an initiative aimed at increasing blood donations, an agreement was signed between the Blood Transfusion Centre and the Local Councils Association so that localities organize activities to encourage residents to donate blood.

The Association’s President, Mario Fava, said that there are currently 40 councils who accepted to participate in the initiative. “As an association, we will see that at the end of the year since  the activity begins, the first three councils who assisted in the biggest amount of blood bags in a year, will be awarded”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, Chris Fearne, stated that from Sunday the Mobile Unit will start again visiting localities after the necessary maintenance was carried out.

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