Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Volunteers Donate Blood to Mark WBBD

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More than 80 voluntary blood donors turned up to donate blood at a blood drive organized by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) to commemorate World Blood Donor Day (WBBD) 2019. The drive, which was organized at the Institute’s head office premises, was to promote universal access to safe blood transfusion.

IHVN Blood Safety Focal Person, Mr. Abubakar Abdullahi, said that, “Only about 4 people out of 1000 in low-income countries donate blood. Blood supplies always need to be replenished in an effort to meet the national supply. Blood can be stored for only a limited time before use.”

Mr. Abdullahi noted that voluntary blood donation is required regularly for women with pregnancy and childbirth associated bleeding, patients with blood, bone marrow disorders and immune deficiency conditions, patients undergoing surgical procedures and victims of accidents. He said that safe blood needed in hospitals is blood free of “Transfusion Transmissible Infections (TTIs) which in Nigeria are stated in the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) guidelines to be HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C virus and Syphilis.”

imagesOut of 85 voluntary blood donors who came to the blood drive, 77 people were certified fit to donate blood. Mr. Sunday Yakubu, a third time donor said that he was motivated to donate blood to make an impact in the life of the needy. “Many people are out there looking for someone to help them. Some people don’t have money to buy blood but with this, you can help others,” he said.

Another donor, Dr. Tongidyen Jasper urged the public to regularly donate blood to make blood routinely available. “It feels good to know that my blood will help someone, somewhere make it through,” she said.

National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Donor Recruiter, Mr. Peter Ehigie said that scarcity of blood in the country will be reduced if 10 percent of its population donates blood regularly. He challenged the myths that there is no need for blood donation and that blood donation causes illness. “If Nigerians donate regularly, males every three months and females, every four months, blood will be available all the time.”

This year, World Blood Donor Day was marked with the theme, “Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion, as a component of achieving universal health coverage” and slogan, “Safe Blood for all.”

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