Lagos begins campaign to promote voluntary blood donation



By Adekunle Yusuf

 

The Lagos State Government has begun a voluntary blood donation chain campaign tagged ‘Each One Reach Ten’ campaign aimed at evolving a lifesaving culture of voluntary blood donation to meet with the growing demand for blood. The campaign also aims to assist the state to meet up with its blood requirement in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) mandate.

The campaign, with the slogan Advocate, Mobilise, Donate, is geared towards recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors by ensuring that each individual  is encouraged to advocate for voluntary blood donation and mobilise at least 10 more people to donate blood voluntarily at least three times every year.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign at the General Hospital Lagos, the Executive Secretary (ES), Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services, Dr. Bodurin Oshikomaiya, explained that the campaign was initiated because of the urgency of ensuring availability of safe blood and blood products for transfusion.

“We commenced ‘Each One Reach Ten’ blood donation chain campaign to fulfill our mandate to ensure adequacy and ample access to safe blood in Lagos State through strategies anchored on recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors as the bedrock for safe and adequate blood supply in Lagos”, she said.

Emphasising the huge demand for blood and the need for voluntary blood donation, Oshikomaiya disclosed that about 37 per cent of the population are eligible and clinically fit to donate blood. She, however, stressed that only about 10 per cent of blood donated is from voluntary blood donors, adding that someone is always in need of blood every two seconds.

The ES noted that the state government, through the Blood Transfusion Service, is constantly expanding and improving its blood transfusion programmes to provide safe and sufficient blood for clinical use through voluntary blood donors.

She added that the blood donation chain campaign is aimed at creating a culture to give, to develop an altruistic and selfless attitude to save lives and provide all-inclusive and innovative ways to encourage voluntary blood donation as well as increase and retain voluntary blood donors to meet with the growing blood demand of the state.

Osikomaiya stated further that the LSBTS has re-evaluated, re-strategised and re-invigorated its voluntary blood donation drives activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that campaign activities are now tilting more towards increasing the number and frequency of donation by walk-in donors whilst outdoor external mobile drives are being reduced to prevent and limit transmission of COVID-19 infection.

While applauding voluntary blood donors who go out of their way despite busy schedules in a bustling city like Lagos to donate blood in order to save precious lives, she appealed to new as well as regular blood donors to create a chain of blood donation by donating blood voluntarily as well as encouraging 10 others to donate so as to increase the availability of blood for transfusion, especially during emergencies.

She assured that the government remains committed in ensuring best practices in health care delivery across the state, adding that the state will intensify its commitment in maintaining a secure and safe blood supply across the state.

“For us to move towards 100 per cent voluntary blood donation, government, policymakers, health workers and everyone needs to be a part of this campaign. I would therefore like to encourage everyone who is healthy and fit and weigh above 45 kilograms, aged from 18 to 60, to join this campaign and give blood.

“People in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, people who have given blood for other reasons including through cohesive forms of donation, should begin to do so as voluntary donors,” Oshikomaiya said.

The Medical Director, General Hospital Lagos, Dr. Ismail Ganikale, who was also at the event, applauded the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services for its professional values in the discharge of its mandate. He also commended various individuals, religious organisations and  non-governmental organisations who have identified with the state in boosting the supply of blood in the state.

Dr. Ganikale, however, encouraged all donors and various foundations not to relent in their efforts in assisting in boosting the supply of blood in the state. He assured that General Hospital Lagos as a means of contribution to all blood donors is always ready to assist anybody who holds a certificate of blood donation in their own time of need. “An accident by definition is not something that will notify you when it will happen. If blood is not available, how do we save lives? That is why we cannot thank people like you enough for what you do. We appreciate you,” he said.

Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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