Bank of Valletta employees have over the past 12 years donated over 1,300 bags of blood.

The bank, in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service, organises three blood drives every year and encourages its staff to regularly donate blood to help save lives.

“Blood is precious. For those in need of blood due to their medi­cal condition or because they have to undergo a major operation, blood donation is crucial and a true life saver,” said Jesmond Sciberras, organiser of the BOV blood drive campaigns.

Every year there are over 4,500 patients who are thankful for the altruistic actions of blood donors.

“We have around 60,000 people who are registered donors, however only 10,000 donors donate regularly, namely once every two years,” said Tony Micallef from the National Blood Transfusion Service.

“These past three months were even harder to obtain blood donations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We now hope that people will put aside their fears and come forward to donate blood. If blood is not readily available, injured people have a lower chance of survival and patients suffering from chronic diseases or waiting to undergo an operation might end up having their medical treatments delayed. We can assure blood donors that all safety precautions are in place and that they can help save lives safely.”

By donating blood, one’s health is not affected, and prior to each blood donation, a medi­cal check-up is carried out to determine whether a person is fit enough and eligible to donate blood. Eligible male donors aged from 18 to 65 may donate blood at least once every three months, while women may donate every four months (or every three months following menopause).

One of the BOV employees said: “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all blood donors. Thanks to these noble people, my 79-year-old father is still alive and I can enjoy his company for longer. Otherwise I would have lost him more than 10 years ago.

“Unfortunately in life one has to experience difficult situa­tions to truly appreciate how valuable blood can be to others. Blood saves lives, so please do donate if you can.”

The National Blood Transfusion Service in Pietà is open every day between 8am and 6pm. For more information visit www.facebook.com/blood­malta or call 8007 4313 or 7930 7307.

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