The Malta Independent 19 March 2019, Tuesday

Memorandum of Understanding between National Blood Transfusion Service and local councils signed

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 15 January 2019, 13:16 Last update: about 2 months ago

While local councils must focus on repairing roads and pavements, Councils should also take on a more social aspect within their locality, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis said.

Earlier this morning at the Ministry for Health, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding took place between the National Blood Transfusion Service and the Local Council Association.

 Parnis said that local council should work as a local government for their locality, and maintain a strong relationship amongst citizens. He said that councils must push on initiatives such as blood donations and emphasise the importance of donating.

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"If each locality were to take on the initiative, we would exceed the need for blood and always be in stock for when necessary."

He highlighted that such initiatives improve the lives of those citizens within the locality, the strength of the local council and of course those who are in need of blood donations. He said that an initiative such as the setting up of a competition amongst local councils to see which locality donates the most blood works well as to promote awareness and increase the number of donations.

The President of Local Councils Association Mario Fava said that such competitions will increase the amount of blood collected within the year, and that every local council should take part in such initiatives and to organise their own activities for locals to donate blood.  

"As an association one of our policies is to give back to the community" said Fava, and that also companies which are celebrating particular anniversaries or milestones should include donating blood as part of their activities, which would give off more satisfaction and also an act of generosity.

16,050 people donated in 2018

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that last year alone 16,050 people donated blood and that around 22,000 people had gone to donate but for reasons such as travelling or virus, were unable to donate. He highlighted that the number of callers was a good indication of people's intention to go donate blood. He said that donating is the best form of generosity a citizen can provide and that the signing of the MoU is a step forward to promoting the importance of blood donors within their locality and to promote activities to raise awareness. 'Every person who contributes will be helping another life.'

Fearne also said that the after some time of being out of order, the mobile blood unit van will be in use this Sunday at Birkirkara.

A crisis at a bank, people lose money, but a crisis at a blood bank, people lose their lives

Closing the conference was the centre's medical director, Alex Aquilina who emphasised that the Blood Bank works towards providing for the Maltese population. He said that numerous appeals were made during the Christmas period, which increased the number of donors throughout December, but now there are only a few people who come to donate throughout the week. 

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