Stakeholders Call For More Awareness On Need For Voluntary Blood Donation

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BY SUNNY A. DAVID

To ensure that individuals and communities have access to safe and
quality-assured blood and blood products in both normal and emergency situations, the need for adequate resources, systems and infrastructure that will increase voluntary blood donation has been emphasized, as the World Health Organization, WHO, and the global communty celebrate 2020 World Blood Donor Day.

The day, designated in 2005 by the World Health Assembly to thank blood donors, is also aimed at raising awareness about the global need for safe blood and how everyone can contribute.

Recent visit to private, government and mission-owned health facilities across the State, reveals that when the need for blood transfusion arises, some of them seek comprehensive services elsewhere.

This, according to some Medical Officers, who spoke to our correspondent including Dr. William Onwuocha, of Ideal Hospital and Maternity, Ifitedunu, Dr. Uchenna Okeke of Enugwu-Ukwu General Hospital, may lead to hazards, including death, if a patient looses excess blood.

Describing blood transfusion services as integral part of quality healthcare delivery, the Medical Officers called for government and individuals’ efforts at making blood available and accessible to healthcare facilities, since running blood transfusion services are capital intensive, even as there is short supply of voluntary blood donors.

Explaining necessary steps and benefits in successful blood transfusion services, Medical Laboratory Scientists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Mr. Isreal Okorie, and
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, Mr. Okechukwu Umeh, said when properly screened and cross-matched, blood transfusion helps revive a dying patient, and reduces the donor’s risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks among other health benefits.

They called for media support in raising awareness on importance of blood transfusion, as well as formation of blood donation clubs that will support existing Students’ and Rotary Blood Donation Clubs.

Supporting blood transfusion with biblical passages, the Manager of
St. Ann’s Hospital and Maternity, Abba, Reverend Father Christopher Eze, said blood donation is a charitable deed, which motivated his recent calls on Parishioners to enlist as voluntary blood donors to the Hospital, describing their response so far as massive.

A beneficiary, Mr. Jude Obiora, recalled how it helped save his life during surgical operation, even as some donors, Mr. Christian Obikee and Stephen Udunna as well as a potential donor, Miss Chinyere Okoye shared their knowledge about blood transfusion, urging people to join
in making blood available for emergency situations in hospitals.

Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, who equally acknowledged that deaths do occur due to delay in accessing quality blood services, said among other measures, the State government has introduced “smart drone blood delivery system” to help in speedy
conveyance of blood to hard-to-reach areas in the State.

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