Saving lives in Majuro

It was a big day June 24 for recognizing blood donors in the Majuro community. Numerous people donated blood during the celebration of Blood Donor Day at Majuro hospital. Prizes and recognition were give to many, including Manner Henos (blue shirt), by from left: Dr. Rodney Catilo, International Federation of the Red Cross’ Lemau Afamasaga, Secretary Jack Niedenthal and Red Cross Society President Dr. Alex Piñano. Photo: Eve Burns.


Many lives at Majuro hospital will be saved as a result of people’s action last Friday showing up to an event outside the Wellness Center. This is not newspaper hyperbole and one of the hospital’s nurses explained why it is true.

Nurse Gina Anuntak told the dozens of people gathered for Blood Donor Day that she started donating blood to the hospital from when she started working there.

“I was so happy knowing I was able to give,” she said. “I am not the richest person and I’m still trying to figure out life.” But by donating her blood to help others, Gina said, “I felt as if I did something so big.”

“One donation from us can save the lives of up to three people in danger,” she said. “You will be a lifesaver by donating just 15-20 minutes of your time and a pint of blood in a pain-free and easy process. You get to save their lives and your own since you will get to know more about your own body and will be able to make changes according to the need.”
Last Friday’s event was sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Human Services in partnership with Marshall Islands Red Cross and supported by USAID and World Health Organization to celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The theme for this year’s event was “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives.”
Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal delivered the opening remarks. Many nurses and donors came to witness as the event rolled out.

Dr. Cody Jack emceed the event resulting in so much laughter as he offered up jokes that made the event enjoyable for all who attended.

Paul Lalita, who is the director of Majuro hospital laboratory, shared with the audience more information on donating blood, such as receiving the donors and doing tests and the process for donating.

The awarding event was the highlight, frequent donors received $200 gift cards from K&K Island Pride Supermarket and Payless Supermarket along with first aid kits, certificates, t-shirts and mugs. Other prizes for donors were cash power cards and first aid kits.
Poetry slam contest winners also received their awards.

Cody then spiced up the day with questions to the audience, offering prizes for winning responses.

Closing remarks came from Dr. Alex Pinano, president of the Red Cross Society. “Together with all the frequent donors acknowledged today, the Marshall Island Red Cross has and will continue to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Human Services to recruit, train and build awareness of the population on donating blood voluntarily,” he said.


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