The Panamanian National Hemocenter Board, which was approved by law last April to control inventories of all the country's blood banks, will promote a campaign to motivate voluntary plasma donation, an official source said today.
"The Hemocenter should promote voluntary donation. About 4% of all donations are commercial donations, that is, people who charge for donating blood; which should be eliminated and be at 0%," said the Panamanian Minister of Health, Miguel Mayo.
In the installation on Monday of the board of directors, Mayo said that the Hemocenter -whose creation was approved by the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) last April- will develop a campaign for voluntary donation.
The minister of Health highlighted in that sense that the campaign and the awareness of the population and the attitude of the people towards donations "is what will solve the problem as long as people understand that donating blood does not hurt, does not delay, does not transmit diseases and it's good for other people".
"It is a debt that existed with the country since the first blood bank was created in 1944 at the Santo Tomás Hospital (HST)." In 2001 there was an attempt to create a hemocenter and today it is a reality with the Law passed by the President of the Republic on May 31," said Mayo.
He also stressed that there are many benefits to be obtained, as it will greatly help the transfusion medicine of the country and will give equity because they can centralize all tests, standardize transfusions nationwide to know where blood is needed.
The Secretary of the Board of the National Hemocenter, Marcela Vallarino, said that "an effort will be carried out in its implementation through an action plan", as well as in the operation manuals, regulation of the Law, location and hiring of the staff.
As for the strategies for voluntary donation, Vallarino said that "we must make it accessible, have buses, high-traffic donation centers where anyone can arrive and donate easily.
"We are going to have a very arduous campaign, but we're going there; we want 100% of donations in Panama to be voluntary," Vallarino added.
According to statistical data, in Panama some 57,000 blood donations were made in 2016.
In Panama there are 28 blood banks at present, and the idea, according to Vallarino, is that all its operation is centralized in a single place, for which the hemocenter will promote voluntary blood donation, according to official information.