As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate 2021 World Blood Donors Day, the Federal Ministry of Health has said that less than five per cent of blood donations come from voluntary unpaid persons.
The minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, stated this yesterday during a press briefing to mark this year’s World Blood donor Day, with the theme: “Celebrating the Gift of Blood” , in Abuja.
Represented by Ngozi Onwudiwe, the minister said, “About 118.5 million blood units are collected annually worldwide with only 15 per cent from voluntary unpaid donors. Here in Nigeria, less than five per cent of all blood donations come from voluntary unpaid donors. Every country must have a strong base of voluntary unpaid donors in order to ensure that everyone who needs safe blood has access to it.
“Given the rise in emergencies globally, the demand for safe blood and blood products has been on the increase and therefore, access to safe, quality, and affordable blood and blood products is crucial.”
It is important that we have adequate supply of blood and blood products to meet this increase in demand. This will substantially reduce the mortality associated with life-threatening diseases, trauma cases from victims of road accidents, casualties of bomb blasts, anemia in children, bleeding in pregnancy and childbirth women, victims of insurgency, conflict, and tragic building collapses,” he said.
In order to have adequate supply of safe blood, Ehanire said the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) in collaboration with other stakeholders has rolled out a One Million Safe Blood Units Initiative in the country. He also said the NBTS is now actively involved in high-quality research to ensure the use of evidence-based practice in the country’s blood system.
“NBTS is charged with the mandate of regulating, coordinating, and ensuring safe, quality, and affordable blood and blood products to all who may need it. In order to achieve its mandate, the organisation has rolled out a ten-year strategic plan which includes the One Million Safe Blood Units Initiative to ensure an increase in the number of voluntary unpaid donations in order to meet the rising needs for sate blood and blood products across the country,” the minister said.