Caribbean countries are being urged to strengthen their voluntary, unpaid blood donation systems.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, this is the best way to ensure universal access to an adequate supply of safe blood for transfusions.
However, it says the percentage of voluntary donations remains unchanged even with significant advances to improve the safety and availability of blood for transfusions.
PAHO says donations rose to 10.5 million units in 2017, an increase of 13% since 2015.
The need for strengthening of the blood donation systems comes on the observance of World Blood Donor Day.
The 2019 theme is “Safe blood for all” which draws attention to the importance of timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood as a key component of effective health systems.