3rd November, 2019
Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS), Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya has said that the State will require over 260,000 units of blood to meet the growing blood demand for transfusion.
Osikomaiya, who disclosed this over the weekend noted that effort are being intensified by the State government through LSBTS to ensure that all blood for transfusion are from voluntary blood donors.
Reiterating the commitment of the State government to ensure that only safe blood is available for transfusion in the State, she appealed to residents to donate blood voluntarily in order to meet the growing demand of safe blood for transfusion in the all health facilities in the State.
“The demand for blood is ever present and increasing especially with the growing population of Lagos State. At least, 260,000 units of blood yearly is required to meet our blood transfusion demand and this is according to the WHO estimate that blood donation from at least one to two percent of the population is needed to meet their blood needs.
“This is why we need residents to donate voluntarily to meet these demands and save precious lives,” she said.
The Executive Secretary hinted that Lagos State has less than ten percent of voluntary blood donors, stressing that over 90 percent of blood are sourced from replacement donors who according to her, have a higher risk and prevalence of transfusion transmissible infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
Osikomaiya explained that the need to address the issues of commercial blood touts; demand for family replacement of blood at ante natal booking and availability of safe blood for transfusion informed the drive to ensure that 100 percent of blood for transfusion should be from voluntary blood donors.
Said she, “the crux of the plan is to increase availability of safe blood by promoting voluntary blood donation, reducing activities of commercial blood touts and retaining already recruited voluntary blood donors for a sustained blood supply”.
The Executive Secretary posited that creating awareness on the vital role of voluntary blood donation toward achieving the goal of saving lives and is very important to completely bring to the barest minimum the number of deaths related to loss of blood.
“We therefore cannot over emphasize the need to ensure availability of blood in our blood banks where patients who require blood transfusion can be readily supplied. That is why we are intensifying our awareness campaign to encourage more voluntary blood donors to join others who give their blood willingly and freely without knowing the recipients”, she added.
While noting that the LSBTS has zero tolerance for transfusion of unscreened and unsafe blood, Osikomaiya assured that no blood will be transfused into a patient unless such blood has been screened, tested and labelled with the Lagos State Logo by the screening and certification unit of LSBTS and found to be negative for all transmissible diseases.
“We will continue to advocate, monitor and enforce policies aimed at the strengthening of external quality control & proficiency testing in all blood screening centers & blood banks in order to ensure optimal quality of bloods for transfusion,” she said.
Osikomaiya noted Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) will continue to promote the recruitment of voluntary blood donors, ensure adequate supply of safe blood, ensure screening of every unit of blood for transfusion transmissible infections and carry out efficient processing of blood to all who require it.
She noted that it is only through recruitment of voluntary blood donors, screening & appropriate processing of blood, safe collection & administration of blood, periodic audit of blood banks and screening centres that the challenges militating against blood transfusion can be overcome.
She outlined the efforts made by LSBTS to attract and retain voluntary blood donors to include; promoting attitudinal change in the health personnel who attend to the donors; creating a conducive environment for blood donation; establishing blood donor centres outside of hospital premises, acquisition of blood mobile – a vehicle for walk-in blood donation and exemption of screening fees for volunteers should they themselves require blood transfusion.
The Executive Secretary while urging citizens to imbibe the spirit of voluntary blood donation and also become regular blood donors noted that making safe blood available is a collective responsibility of everyone.
She called on citizens to walk into any of the designated blood donation unit in all public health facilities to donate blood voluntarily or visit the Blood Transfusion Headquarters voluntary blood Centre at General Hospital Lagos.
She expressed delight that many Lagosians are keying into the vision by responding positively to the clarion call to donate blood voluntarily to save lives noting that this is evident in the increase number of organizations, clubs, groups and schools that have invited LSBTS for routine voluntary blood donation as part of their corporate social responsibilities.