Foundation decries poor response to voluntary blood donation
The Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF), an NGO, on Tuesday decried the low and poor response to voluntary blood donation by Nigerians.
Dr Deola Phillips, Chairman of the foundation’s board, made this known while briefing newsmen as part of the activities to commemorate the 2018 World Blood Donor Day on Tuesday in Abuja.
The day was marked on June 14 with the theme of this year’s campaign is “Blood donation as an action of solidarity” while the slogan is “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.”
Represented by Dr Olajumoke Akisanya, Senior Executive Officer of the foundation, less than 10 per cent of Nigerian were interested in voluntary and non-remunerated blood donation.
Philips said rhe low number of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors has contributed to the level of avoidable deaths especially among children and women.
“Many lives have been lost due to non availability of blood for transfusion in the hospitals”.
He added that many lives have been lost due to lack of funds by the relatives of the patients to procure blood for transfusion from commercial blood bank due to high cost.
“We are poised to make difference, we are using this platform to advocate for an increase in the number of voluntary (unpaid) blood donors.
“To play our part in saving lives, the foundation will be organising voluntary blood donation drives in multiple locations around Nigeria on June 30, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“This is to encourage teeming population to join us on a course to make safe and quality blood available to many people in dire need of it,’’he said.
He said the foundation also appeals to federal government to institute a regulatory body that would promote voluntary blood donation.
Phillips said that the regulatory body should be made to enforce and prosecute individuals and facilities who made blood and its product a commodity beyond the reach of those in need due to commercial gains.
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS), Mrs Oluwatoyin Smith said the annual blood need of Nigeria was 1.8 million units of blood per annum.
Smith, represented by Dr. Olusola Idowu, Director Monitoring and Evaluation, NBTS, said Nigeria was far below the target, hence the collaboration between NBTS and the foundation to create awareness on voluntary blood donation.
She also corroborates on low response to voluntary blood donation stressing that the national data indicates that voluntary non-remunerated blood donation accounts for only 10 per cent of the total blood collection.
She added that Family replacement donations as well as commercial donations on the other hand, account for 30 and 60 per cent respectively.
According to Idowu, the highest number of blood donation collected in 17 centres of NBTS across the country was 66, 799 in 2015; it declined to 51,331 in 2016 and 31, 896 in 2017.
“The agency is building a partnership through the engagement of community based organizations and private sector to deepen awareness, and grow a steady stream of regular blood donors.