With the ongoing pandemic in India, the hospitals need the help of blood and platelet donors to meet the needs of patient care. Blood drives are the need of the hour and can help save hundreds of lives. It’s a rewarding experience! We need to remember that blood and blood components have a shelf life and hence medical professionals need a regular and fresh supply for the patients.
The nightlife fraternity in Goa led by Mackenzie is committed to helping others in meaningful ways during the pandemic. Mackenzie along with his team comprising of Marsha D’souza, Fred D’souza, Pranay Purohit, Shruti Chaturvedi from Covid Care Goa, and Lourdes Soares with her team at Sabrcare, came together to organize 3 successful blood donation camps in Panjim and Margao. This brought people together in a spirit of teamwork to promote a cause that could help save someone’s life. They took to their social media accounts which have a huge following to promote the camps. From throwing insane parties to now successful blood donation camps, Mackenzie and his team are motivated to keep this humane gesture going.
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At Goan Insider, we caught up with Mackenzie and his team to learn about what inspired them to start this blood donation drive. Read about it below.
What is the inspiration behind organizing this series of blood donation camps in Goa?
Planning and execution is something I have been doing all my life may it be nightlife or event management. So when I heard we’re gonna suffer a blood shortage due to the vaccination drives, I and a bunch of like-minded people jumped right into it to handle whatever we could. We appealed to people to come forward and donate blood. We received a great response but hit a roadblock because they didn’t want to go to a hospital to do the same. Hence we put together the Blood donation camps where everyone can come and donate without any hesitation.
Who can or cannot donate blood?
Any person above 18 with a healthy weight and hemoglobin count can donate blood. But there is a time frame you have to wait out if you’ve had a dental extraction, tattoos, surgery, piercings, covid infection, etc.
With the current pandemic situation, how did you ensure the safety of the people coming forward to donate blood?
Safety has been our main and biggest concern at every blood camp. Its compulsory for everyone to enter the premises wearing a mask, sanitize their hands, and then check the temperature. Our mattresses are sanitized after every donor is done with his donation.
How did you go about promoting the camp around Goa?
We appealed to the people via social media and they were kind enough to oblige. Our nightlife fraternity jumped in to share the message with their fans and friends and it spread like wildfire and turned it into a trend within no time.
Where have you conducted the camps so far and how was the response?
We’ve conducted 3 camps so far, 2 in Panjim and 1 in Margao. We have received a tremendous response from all of them. When we put our slots out for the first time for our three camps, our slots were filled by donors within the first two hours. It was overwhelming.
How did you go about shortlisting centres to organise the camps?
Multiple discussions, shortlisting cities, venues, volunteers, and then the confirmations! After that, we put out the booking slots so people can book particular slots and come according to their time and avoid gatherings and chaos.
Which are the medical officials that you have tied up with to regulate the process?
A blood camp has to be organized in association with a licensed and registered blood bank, so we have tied up with Hospicio, Asilo, and GMC blood banks to run our various drives.
Could you tell us who all are involved in organizing these blood donation camps and how did you come together as a team?
None of this would have been even remotely possible without Marsha D’souza, Fred D’souza, Pranay Purohit, Shruti Chaturvedi from Covid Care Goa, and Lourdes Soares with her team at Sabrcare. The collective expertise, social reach, ideas, and connections helped in pulling off such successful camps till now.
What message can you give to people to encourage them to donate blood when possible?
Blood donation is a very healthy habit and must always be treated like social responsibility and not favor or sacrifice to someone.
Which are the upcoming blood donation camps and how can someone sign up or stay updated?
Our next camp is in Mapusa on the 19th of May and we sign off the month with Panaji on the 21st. You can always follow us on our socials especially Instagram and Twitter where we keep updating all the info.
Anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
At the present stage that we are in, there is no point in blaming the government and system because that’s not gonna help. Instead, let’s help each other even in the smallest ways to edge past the pandemic. If we all come out alive, I promise to buy you beer and ridicule the government as much as you want.
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