From LAIDE AKINBOADE
The Regional Director of World Health Organisation (WHO), in the African Region, Matshidiso Moeti, on Wednesday, tasked the Nigeria government to give the necessary support to blood donation in the country.
Moeti, stated this in Abuja, to commemorate 2018 World Blood donor Day.
He decried the fact that African countries are not able to meet their blood needs, and many patients requiring transfusion die because of blood shortages.
The World Blood Donor Day, is celebrated on the 14th of June, every year, to draw attention to the kind gestures of regular and voluntary blood donors for patients in need, and encourages people to care for one another by donating blood.
The day is also an opportunity to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people.
This year’s theme focuses on blood donation as an act of solidarity: “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”.
According to Moeti, “Blood transfusion saves lives. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, better quality lives, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries. Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need. This is how ordinary people can be there for someone else – by giving blood and sharing life.
“In the African region, although countries have made significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing. The Region is not meeting its blood needs, and many patients requiring transfusion are dying because of blood shortages.
“Adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations. I urge countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes. I encourage Ministries of Health to put active measures in place to strengthen national blood services to enhance universal access to safe blood.”
He thanked all voluntary blood donors and encouraged them to continue giving this valuable gift regularly to ensure sufficient blood supplies for all patients, and equally expressed support for blood donor associations and other non-governmental organisations and all those who are working to make safe blood available in healthcare facilities.