– Advertisement – Former Liberian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Nathaniel A. Barnes, was among several volunteers who recently donated blood to save lives, particularly children and adults suffering from anemia, malaria and other diseases and are in desperate need of blood transfusion.June 14 of every year is commemorated as World Blood Donor Day, and the Ministry of Health, through the National Blood Safety Program (NBSP), observed the day by campaigning for blood donors.Dr. Barnes described it as a worthy cause to donate blood to stop preventable deaths. He pleaded with all ‘healthy and emotionally composed’ citizens to donate blood to save the lives of people who needlessly die on a daily basis across the country due to lack of blood.He encouraged Liberians to donate blood “To help families, friends or relatives who don’t have money to pay for blood or when the time comes and there is no one around to donate blood.” He backed his call by donating blood.For his part, the Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Samson K. Arzoaquoi, said the two regional blood banks in the country need blood to save lives, and called on volunteers to donate blood.“The most common medical emergency health care need at all health institutions across the country is the need for blood transfusion,” Dr. Arzoaquoi said. He noted that those who donate blood are very special people that everyone should applaud.“As we celebrate blood donors’ day let me say a big thank you to all donors and call on them not to stop their sacrificially giving of themselves to see others in need of blood stay alive,” he pointed out.He said in order for the blood safety program to survive, partners, including WHO, ACCEL, among others, are requesting that there should be a national blood policy.“As we are here today, somebody is dying because there is no blood and as we are here somebody has died because he or she did not get blood,” he noted, calling on all qualified blood donors to give blood often.Also making remarks on behalf of the WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Madam Gertrude Mulbah said the theme of the occasion, “What Can You Do? Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often,” goes beyond just thinking about giving blood to relatives and friends.“If my boss was here today she would have said these words coming from my mouth, ‘Everybody can play a role in an emergency situation by giving blood.’ Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency healthcare,” Madam Mulbah said.“As we commemorate World Blood Donor Day, my boss is urging all countries in the region and all stakeholders involved in blood donations to maintain adequate supplies of safe blood. This will allow national blood transfusion services to respond in time to the increase in blood demand, especially during emergencies,” she said.The program director at the NSBP, Madam Lwopu M. Bruce, said blood donation should be free of charge and voluntary.“Our campaign is to create sufficient awareness so as to welcome on board many voluntary donors,” Madam Bruce said. She commended six of the donors who, over time, have not hesitated to give blood.The NSBP certificated Prince G. Gargar, Emmanuel J. Zah, Prince Mahnweh, Winston, Arkie J. Tarr, among others, for donating blood voluntarily and free of charge.A cross section of celebrants singing the national anthem at the start of the eventShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Dr. Barnes gives blood
HALIFAX – A Nova Scotia man fighting to have his last name — Grabher — reinstated on a licence plate says police have now forced him to remove an inactive Alberta plate from the front of his car.Lorne Grabher said he received a call from police Monday after a complaint was lodged against the personalized Alberta licence plate he had on the front of his car.Nova Scotia requires only one valid plate, at the rear, and drivers in the province often place inactive or novelty plates on the front of their vehicles.Grabher says police told him he would face a stiff penalty for driving with a fraudulent plate if he did not remove the Alberta plate, which had his last name on it in capitalized letters.The 69-year-old man said he feels he’s being unfairly targeted.“I’ve been red-flagged,” he said from his Dartmouth home, noting the large number of vehicles in the province that have inactive out-of-province plates on the front.Grabher received international attention after the Registry of Motor Vehicles revoked his personalized Nova Scotia plate bearing his last name, saying it was a “socially unacceptable slogan.”“The issue for me is where does anybody, especially the government, get the right to discriminate against somebody’s name,” he said. “The only place I can think of where they do stunts like that is if you live in a communist country.”The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing Grabher, and says the revocation infringes on his constitutional rights.The organization filed a notice of application with the provincial Supreme Court seeking to overturn the decision.A hearing on the matter scheduled for Wednesday was postponed to June 6 after a lawyer representing the province requested more time to “gather the names of witnesses” and “confirm instructions with my client.”Grabher called the legal dispute a waste of taxpayer dollars.“It’s my last name,” he said. “We’ve had this licence plate in my family for 27 years.”Grabher said his last name is a point of pride for his family and its Austrian-German heritage.In the early 1800s, Grabher’s great-great-grandfather made the journey from Austria to the United States, part of a wave of settlers.His grandfather then moved to Canada in 1890 and put down roots in Alberta.Grabher said his father joined the army at the age of 17, during the Second World War, and was sent to Cape Breton, where his family settled.He said revoking his personalized licence plate is foolish and offensive.Grabher said he is now using an alphanumeric licence plate on the rear of his car, and has removed the old Alberta plate from the front as requested by police.