Dr Joseph Amedu, the Coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), has announced that the country needs over 200 million units of blood annually, to save the lives of people in need.
Amedu made this known at a webinar with the theme: “Why Nigeria needs more Blood” organised by Punch Media Foundation, to mark the 2021 World Blood Donor Day on Monday.
He said that only 500,000 units of blood were donated every year, with five per cent of it coming from free donors.
“There is the need for more free blood donation in the country to save lives, especially among youths.
“Many victims of herdsmen-farmers crisis, robbery attacks and road accidents have died, due to inaccessibility and unavailability of compatible blood to sustain them.
“Out of the 500,000 units of blood donated in the country, 95 per cent comes from commercial donors,” he said.
According to the coordinator, commercial blood donation is not safe because it usually takes place in facilities that are not hygienic for such procedures.
“Facilities where commercial donations take place oftentimes are not hygienically safe and therefore such blood evade certain screening procedures.
“The health status of some of these commercial donors cannot be guaranteed because some of them are drug addicts and carriers of chronic diseases,” he said.
The national coordinator urged youths to embrace free blood donation, saying that every unit of blood donated saves a life.
Mrs Moji Makanjuola, Founder, International Society of Media in Public Health, advised the media to promote voluntary blood donation on their various platforms.
“It is imperative that the media should be at the forefront of promoting voluntarily blood donation in the society.
“The media becomes a stimulus in ensuring that people are well informed of the benefits of donating blood to save lives in dire need of it,” Makanjuola said. (NAN)