As Nigerians join the rest of the global community to mark the 2019 World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated on every 14 June, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Abdulaziz Abdullahi, has called on all Nigerians to imbibe the culture of regular blood donation, as the country needs nothing less than 2 million units of blood, for patients safety.
The Permanent Secretary who made the remarks during a press briefing to commemorate the 2019, World Blood Donor Day, in Abuja on Friday, noted that health facilities in the country are short of blood supply, and this is due to the fact that there are very few people who do regular blood donation in the country.
Abdullahi therefore urged all Nigerians to start form the habit of regular blood donation, as you can never tell who the patient will be, your relative, friend, or colleague, and it could be that “the life you save might be yours”.
He also hinted on the progress made by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), how it has migrated from semi-automated to fully automated service in Abuja and Jos offices, a development which will enhance better access to safe blood.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s statement on the event, the theme for the 2019 Blood Donor Day is “Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion as a component to achieve universal health coverage”. The slogan for the campaign is “Safe blood for all”, which is to raise awareness about the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of healthcare. The host country for World Blood Donor day 2019 is Rwanda.
The Apex health institution further emphasized the importance of blood donation through its statement, noting that transfusion of blood and blood products help save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.
“It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.
“A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
“However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
“Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.
Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care”, the document noted.
“Voluntary blood donors come from all walks of life but they have one thing in common: they put others before themselves — people they don’t even know,” said Dr Ed Kelley, director of the Department of Service Delivery and Safety at WHO. “Each time they donate blood, they commit an act of selfless heroism.”