Nigerian Government creates awareness on blood donation

Gloria Essien, Abuja

The Nigerian Government says it has stepped up efforts at building community partnerships with the organised private sector to create awareness and make blood donation an integral part of their corporate social responsibility programmes.

The Nigeria Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated this during a Press Briefing to mark the 2016  World Blood Donors Day, in Abuja Nigeria’s Capital.

He said that ensuring universal access to safe blood transfusion requires innovative strategies to ensure safe and sufficient blood supply.

Dr. Ehanire explained that the Government would empower the National Blood Transfusion Service through adequate funding to ensure consistent supply of safe blood.

The minister said that blood transfusion plays an essential role in the provision of emergency health care, particularly women who are victims of post-partum haemorrhage,  children suffering from severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition,  victims of trauma, road traffic accidents and patients who suffer from cancers and sickle cell anemia.

Dr.  Ehanire also stressed that “almost every time blood is donated, a life is saved. As far as we know, blood is not yet manufactured but it is in frequent demand and a highly perishable product with a very limited shelf life of only 42 days.  It therefore needs to be constantly replenished in our blood banks”.

He called for greater awareness on making voluntary blood donation an integral part of life.

The minister urged the National Blood Transfusion Service to enlighten secondary school students to embrace the culture of voluntary blood donation from an early age though the Secondary School Blood Safety Programme,  whereby students commit to voluntary blood donation on attaining the age of eighteen.

He added that “it is vital for us as a country to take ownership of the Blood Safety programme. In line with the dictates of the National Blood Policy, I urge all state governments to take ownership of the blood safety programmes in their respective domains as a strategy to ensuring the sustainability of the blood safety programme nationwide”.

The theme of this year World Donor Day is blood connects us all.

Nnenna.O