Nigerians Tasked On Blood Donation


Dr. Temilola Alayande, Head, Lagos State Voluntary Blood Donation Organisation, has advised Nigerians to develop a more positive attitude towards donating blood voluntarily, as this could help save lives.

Alayande said this in Lagos on Tuesday at a workshop organised by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee on “Blood donor recruitment and retention.“ It was for youths in the state.

She said that the aim of the workshop was to recruit voluntary blood donors among the youths, as it had been observed that there was an enormous lack of adequate blood in blood banks in the state.

Alayande added that one of the major impediments to having adequate blood was the lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude of Nigerians towards voluntary blood donation.

She said that most people were not adequately informed about the process of blood donation and, therefore, assumed that the process could cause them harm or death.

“The attitude of Nigerians towards blood donation is bad, but I do not blame some of them as they believe that once they donate blood, they will die

“Some of them ask how we can be preaching voluntary blood donation, to be used to save other people’s lives, while they endanger theirs, “ she said.

Alayande noted that voluntary blood donation was the foundation of safe blood and, therefore, it was necessary for people to be aware that it would not endanger their lives, but would be of immense benefits to people who needed blood.

She stressed the need for blood donor recruitment and retention, so as to ensure that there were people who donate blood as regularly as they could.

Alayande said that these blood donors were usually thoroughly screened for Hepatitis B and C, HIV and Syphilis, before the blood could be certified safe for transfusion.

She stated that ideally, both male and female, between the ages of 18 and 65, could donate blood up to four times a year, while pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are not expected to donate.

Dr. Umem Oyekan, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, said that the quantity of blood that was presently donated was a lot lower than what was needed in the state.

Oyekan said that with the increased population, Lagos State should have at least 185,000 units of blood annually.

“For a state with large inhabitants, we should have at least 185,000 units every year but what we have now is 80,000 units, so there is a huge deficit.

“As a result of this, people are being asked to look for blood donors when their family members and friends are in dire need of blood, which should not be so.

“A lot of patients have lost their lives in the process of looking for matching blood donors and sometimes, there is no time to screen the blood before it is transfused, which could have been avoided if blood had been available, “ she said.

Oyekan, therefore, urged the public to donate blood willingly, as there was a dire need for it in order to achieve improved health indices in the country.

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