The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Professor Temitope Alonge of University College Hospital, Ibadan has advocated voluntary blood donation, saying it is crucial to life saving healthcare service.
Speaking on Wednesday said, blood is key to survival.
“When you donate money, you give food but when you donate blood, you give life; absence of blood is equivalent to death.”
According to him, while the teaching hospital has enjoyed the largess of voluntary blood donors, more Nigerians need to be sensitised on the importance of voluntary blood donation.
“In this hospital we have enjoyed a lot of patronage from people who come on their own volition. We have no problems whatsoever in getting people to donate to UCH, religious and student groups come in to donate regularly,” he said.
Alonge said that health workers needed to have the right attitude in encouraging more Nigerians to participate in voluntary blood donation.
“Their attitude depends on how you relate to them and what things you say to them. We have a blood donor group who are clinical psychologists and their mandate is to sensitise Nigerians to the importance of blood donation,” he said.
Alonge said that the donor also benefited from regular blood donation.
“If you want to help your brother or your sister why don’t you share what you have? Besides, if you keep all the blood you have and it is stale of what benefit is it to because there is a turnover of your blood all the time.
“So, when you donate blood your bone marrow comes alive and gives you fresher, cleaner and newer blood. It is an advantage to you as well for you to be able to give blood,” he said.
Alonge said mostly every clinical department required blood on a daily basis.
“Every clinical department, including oncology, obstetrics and gynaecology, malaria and sickle cell patients, patients who require neurosurgical procedures; general surgery and orthopaedics. We have quite a large number of patients because the bed capacity of the hospital is over 800, meaning we need to have a storage of blood double that number,” he said.