As part of activities to mark the 2020 World Blood Donor Day celebration, residents of the State have been called upon to stand up and be counted among those that would donate blood in order to safe a life.
The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye made the call in Asaba during his state-wide broadcast as activities to mark the 2020 World Blood Donor Day celebrated on the 14th day ofJune every year.
According to the Commissioner the campaign theme for this year’s celebration is “safe blood saves lives” with the slogan “give blood and make the world a healthier place”.
Commissioner Ononye explained that blood donations are needed all over the world, which would ensure that individuals and communities have access to safe and quality-assured blood and blood products in both normal and emergency situations and hence the campaign is aimed at the contribution of individuals to improve health in their communities.
He stated that through the campaign, more people all over the world are called to become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly.
Dr. Ononye said blood transfusion saves lives and improves health but many patients requiring transfusions do not have timely access to safe blood.
“Providing safe and adequate blood is an integral part of the national health care policy and infrastructure. Hence, the Day and the theme are a call to action for governments, national health authorities, national and state blood transfusion services to provide adequate resources and put in place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors; promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood; and to set up systems for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion” he said.
The Commissioner said that while the need for blood and blood products is universal, it is sad to realise that access to safe blood and blood products varies greatly across and within countries.
Dr. Ononye revealed that his Ministry has embarked on Blood Donation Drives since 2018 at Idumuje-Unor, Oghara, Asaba, Sapele, Warri and Oleh in order to build capacity of health workers to promote voluntary non-remunerated blood donation at health facilities and a total of 43 pints of blood have been donated voluntarily through these drives.
Speaking further he said the benefits of organising Blood Donation Drives include – creating a rare blood type registry; capacity to provide a high number of pints of blood if needed; reduction in expenditure in obtaining blood and blood products.
Explaining further on what the Ministry has done, he said the re-activated Emergency Ambulance Service is now used for emergency transport of Blood Products; supplied blood banks to hospitals and repaired those that were not functioning; and
Deltans enrolled in the Contributory Health Scheme of this administration, have free access to blood as part of the benefit package.
He listed factors such as ignorance, staff shortage, poor professional and political commitment among others as responsible for people not imbibing the culture of voluntarily blood donation
He revealed also that health workers will be at Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Central Hospital Warri, Central Hospital Agbor and State Secretariat Clinic Asaba to receive blood donations from well-meaning Deltans to mark the Day.
The Commissioner said all voluntary blood donors would be presented with a Certificate of Appreciation as evidence of their charitable act in addition to other gifts.
He also used the medium to single out for special appreciation UNIBLOOD, an indigenous non-governmental organisation founded by His Royal Majesty, Obi Charles Chukwunwike Anyasi III, JP – the Obi of Idumuje-Unor, for their Universal Blood Initiative and passionate advocacy that contributed greatly to several efforts in voluntary blood donation, as well as control of haemolytic disease of the newborn.
He assured residents that blood donation is safe for adults and it is beneficial to both the donor and the recipient, and helping others could help reduce stress, improve your emotional wellbeing and physical health, especially in this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Ojebo Donald