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Rotary raises $45k to expand BVI Blood Bank

Rotary raises $45k to expand BVI Blood Bank

The Rotary Club of Tortola has raised some $45,000 which will be used to improve the services at the blood bank laboratory located at the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital.
The Rotary Club said the funds were raised in partnership with the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) and the BVI Red Cross.

A portion of the funds was raised from members of the community who participated in a Grand Raffle in September and the rest came from generous donors.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of the BVIHSA, Dr June Samuel said the funds will be used to purchase additional equipment to allow the blood bank to have units of blood in its inventory immediately available. The lab will be able to extract components such as plasma and platelets locally and this will increase the efficiency at the blood bank.

“This expansion comes at an opportune time as the laboratory is actively working on achieving certification early in the new year,” noted Dr Samuel. “The BVIHSA is focused on expanding and improving its services, and partners such as the Rotary Club of Tortola will help us to meet these goals.”

The Rotary Club said it was Dr Kedrick Pickering who inspired the club to raise funds for the lab. Dr Pickering recently delivered an address at the Club’s weekly luncheon meeting. The former legislator told the club the territory’s blood bank was facing a shortage of blood and blood products that were often needed by women giving birth. He challenged the club to do something to improve the services offered by the blood bank.

“This project will have tremendous impact on the community as it will enable the hospital laboratory to better serve its patients with new capacity to test blood locally before use in patients and expanded capacity to store blood so that there is a greater supply to more readily meet patient needs,” said Valerie Georges Thomas, President of the Rotary Club of Tortola.

“We are grateful to the general public whose support of our Grand Raffle enabled us to raise a good portion of the funding needed to achieve our objectives and to our very generous donors and we are exceedingly happy to be in the position to help the community through this impactful project. We are ready to proceed to the stage of ordering the equipment and getting it shipped on island,” Georges Thomas said.

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