*Nigeria’s highest donor urges more youths participation
World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director in the African Region, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has called on the Federal Government to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes as well as increase donation centres.
Moeti, who stated this in his 2018 message to mark the World Blood Donor Day noted that despite the increase of blood donations, the number of units of blood collected remains inadequate compared to the needs of patients, especially in the rural areas where maternal deaths are usually high.
Adequate supplies of safe blood, he said ‘‘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 said.
While reaffirming WHO support for all initiatives aimed at ensuring that safe blood and blood products are available for all, the Regional Director, thank all voluntary blood donors and encourage them to maintain the gesture in-order to ensure sufficient blood supplies for all patients.
“This draws 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.
“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” he said.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on the birthday of the initiator of voluntary donation Karl Landsteiner born on June 14, 1868. The event celebration was first celebrated in the year 2004 with the aim to create public awareness on the need for safe blood donation.
Meanwhile, the highest blood donor in Nigeria Mr. Nathan John, a staff of Daily Times has called on the Nigerian youths to imbibe the habit of donating blood freely and willingly.
Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, John who said that he has donated blood for about 54 times added that it is healthy to donate blood following it’s boost in producing the new blood cells to the bone marrows.
“Donating blood gives life to the bone marrows because it produces new blood cells. I feel happy doing this because of the conviction withing me that I am saving a life.
‘‘After donating the blood, I get myself back within 24 hours, my blood is replenished with much intake of fluids like water, fruits, etc.
“This is my 54th time of donating blood and today will make it the 55 because I am going to do that immediately after the press briefing with the minister of health professor Isaac Adewole.
“I advice the Nigerian youths to imbibe the habit of donating blood freely and willingly because there is no side effect. The youths are usually afraid of indulging the practice for fear of knowing their health status but it is better to know ones health status so that whatever is detected can be treated early,” John added.
The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “be there for someone else, give blood safe life”.