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Head of Sewa International TT Revan Teelucksingh, left, expresses his thanks to the Bhagwat family for donating blood yesterday. Members of the Bhagwat family Aneela Bhagwat, second from left, Savita Bhagwat, Rajuv Bhagwat and Amrit Bhagwat (seated).

Shastri Boodan

Sewa International TT is working towards achieving a fully voluntary blood donation system.

President of Sewa International TT Revan Teelucksingh said so yesterday during the organisation’s first blood drive for 2021.

The drive was held at the NCIC Nagar, Narsaloo Ramaya Road, Chaguanas.

Teelucksingh said the present chit system lends itself to unscrupulous people donating blood for cash.

He said in some instances people may donate tainted blood that may contain the virus of a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) so they can cash in.

He said, “Purchasing of blood or doing any financial transaction that involves blood is illegal and Sewa International TT condemns anything like that.”

He added: “People who are not in the best of health would lie during the screening process in order to get payment to go and give blood. When they do that after all the testing you figure out the blood is not good.”

He said this would amount to a waste of costly resources.

Teelucksingh said the organisation is in full support of the recent announcement by the Minister of Health to do away with the chit system and have a fully voluntary system.

He said T&T requires an average of 65,000 units of blood annually.

He said using the present resources that goal is achievable.