North bank staff donate blood to help save lives

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Westpac employees Alvina Rokosau, from left, Ashween Singh and Hae Eliesa give the gift of life aboard the blood drive bus parked outside the bank’s Lautoka branch. Picture: SUPPLIED

Inspired by the 43 pints of blood donated by staff of the Westpac Suva and Lautoka branches during an organised blood drive earlier this year, the Labasa branch staff took it upon themselves to donate to the Blood Bank up north.

Westpac Fiji organised blood drives for staff in partnership with the Fiji Red Cross Society and Fiji National Blood Services collecting a total of 23 pints of blood at the Lautoka Branch and 18 at the Suva branch.

Fiji National Blood Services nurse Wame Tokonivalu said over a 100 pints of blood were used daily nationwide and one pint of blood could save as many as three lives.

“Volunteer donors help us replenish stock and supply the national demands daily. Volunteer donors are important in maintaining a good supply and we are grateful for corporate partnerships like the one with Westpac as this helps us reach our target and continue to save Fijian lives,” Mr Tokonivalu said.

Westpac Chief Executive Shane Smith said, “Westpac is proud to support the Fiji Red Cross Society in organising and mobilising our people to donate blood. Our support is a reflection of our commitment to our people and communities.”

Two employees at the Labasa branch visited the Labasa Blood Bank and donate blood. Seinibici Khan from the Customer Processing Support team said she had been donating blood since her university days and was first inspired to do this by a friend who works in the blood bank at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. Masako Kamilo, who volunteered to donate a second time said, “I donate blood because I know I am doing my part in helping save a life.”

“I know finding someone to donate during difficult times can be hard. I started donating blood when my cousin’s baby needed blood and since then I made a commitment to donate blood,” she said.

The financial institution says they are proud of the partnerships forged over the years with organisations like the Fiji Red Cross Society and that the drive was just one of many upcoming projects aimed at giving back to society.