Rotary Club launches a monthly blood drive
You must be a healthy 65 or younger to participate. Donors will be bussed from Ajijic to Guadalajara
Puerta Hierro Hospital in Guadalajara where blood donations will be taken from Rotary Ajijic donors.
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. The Rotary Club of Ajijic is partnering with the Municipality of Chapala and local sponsors to launch a monthly blood drive, starting this Saturday, February 27. The drive will continue on the fourth Saturday of every month.
Anyone who is healthy, 65 years old or younger can participate. Donors will be driven to the Puerto Hierro Hospital in Zapopan – a member of the Mayo Clinic Health Care Network and one of Guadalajara’s finest hospitals – in private buses leaving at 8 am, 12 noon or 4 pm. Donors on the morning bus will be provided lunch at the hospital.
Donors will be given a health screening and a rapid Covid-19 test at the Ribera Medical Center in Ajijic by Chapala ed staff before leaving for Guadalajara. After giving blood they will rest at the hospital and receive a t-shirt celebrating their donation. The process is relatively painless and healthy individuals can easily give a pint of blood a month.
The local Rotary is reaching out to Ex-pats for the blood drive, but both Ex-pats or Mexicans are welcome and urged to become regular donors. Carol Wolff, President of the Ajijic Rotary urges anyone who qualifies to donate blood regularly because of blood shortages in Lakeside.
“Hospitals are having trouble getting blood for surgery”, Wolff told Laguna in a phone interview, “and we realized that all Lakeside has a problems because of the many restrictions on who can give blood – it is only people 18-65 years old – so this is what we can do for the community.”
Wolff added that next month Rotary Ajijic will make a special appeal to parents of players in the Union Soccer project, sponsored by Rotary Ajijic.
The Rotary Club of Ajijic is one of the few bilingual(English/Spanish) Rotary clubs in Mexico, and has been serving the Lake Chapala area since 2002. Its members are business and professional men and women, many retired, who dedicate their time, expertise, and talents to helping others in our local area.
In the past it has been customary in Mexico to locate blood donors yourself for transfusions you may need for surgery as there is not always a steady supply of blood. But this is no longer the case as blood banks, such as the IMMS Centro de Medico de Occidente .
have been established. There is currently no operating blood bank in Lakeside, but the new Ribera Medical Center in Ajijic has the equipment and is waiting for certification. A spokesperson for the San Antonio Hospital told Laguna that they obtain needed blood from Guadalajara-based hospitals, but eventually will establish their own blood bank
Dr. Santago Herndez, of Chapala Med and Medical Director and the RMC hospital in Ajijic, told Laguna that “we need these blood donations to keep blood on standby because some elective surgeries have been cancelled owing to lack of blood and because we never know when we will need it for an emergency – like surgery for a broken hip”.
Costs of the blood drive project are being covered by Rotary of Ajijic and the co-sponsors -Riberas Medical Center, Chapala Med, and the municipality of Chapala. However, Rotary Ajijic will soon begin seeking additional donors to cover the costs of a year-long program. Wolff told Laguna that they estimate enough people will sign up for 3 busloads a month, but this is a test – it could be less or more.
People wishing to sign up to give blood should contact Dra. Cherry at 33-1699-2414.