As the whole world celebrates World Blood Donor Day” on June 14, 2012 with the theme “Every Blood Donor is a Hero”, the blood transfusion unit (BTU) department of the BraiteWaith Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH), is making concrete plans to make the world blood donor day a success.
The event which is scheduled to hold on Thursday, June 14, 2012 within the hospital street, Old GRA, Port Harcourt at 9.00am prompt is also intended to draw, youths, adults and voluntary donors, government agencies and corporate organizations with good spirited Nigerians from all works of life.
Speaking, the Head of Department pathology, and chairperson, blood transfusion committee, Dr. Okoh Dorathy, said the world blood donor day is celebrated globally.
According to her, “The fifty-eight world health assembly made a unanimous declaration of commitment and support for voluntary donor day as an annual event to be held on the 14th of June each year. While this day creates awareness of the importance of voluntary blood donation, it is a day dedicated to appreciating and celebrating voluntary non-remunerated and unpaid blood donors for the thousands of lives saved everyday across the globe.”
Dr. Dorathy Okoh further revealed, “Blood transfusion saves lives and in most cases the only option for survival, for many patients. But it’s unfortunate that majority of these patients do not have access to safe blood when they need it, especially worse in developing countries including Nigeria. Of the estimated 80 million units of blood donated annually, only 38% are collected in developing countries where 82% of the world population lives, hence, the need for voluntary donation.”
In another development, Mordi Augustina Ngozi, HOD Blood Bank, also reiterated the facts that this year’s campaign is focused on the promotion of 100% voluntary non-remunerated donation and the elimination of dependency on family/replacement or paid blood donations. “The blood transfusion unit (BTU) of the hospital is currently able to provide only about 40% of the whole blood demands, with less than 2% from voluntary non-remunerated donation. Majority of blood donations are from patient’s relatives (replacement donors), some of whom are high risk commercial unsafe donor’s posing as relatives; which also means that in cases where massive blood transfusions are required such as in multiple accidents or natural disaster the blood transfusion unit is often overwhelmed and unable to effectively save lives”, she stressed.
The team enjoins well-meaning Nigerians to come out and donate blood to the blood bank generously so the hospital could meet up the increasing demand for blood to save lives especially in the surgery, accidents/emergency, obstetrics departments, among others.
Aside other activities such as sensitization, drama, clinical testing for all donors and presentation of thank you items for donors, club 25, a group of young men and women who voluntarily donate several pints of blood before they attain age 25 will be at the event to donate blood. ###
Angela Inyena Anietie