Organisation Launches LifeBlood Nigeria to Address Blood Shortage

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Rebecca Ejifoma
Determined to address the current gap in the quantity of blood being supplied, the amount and quantity the nation needs, High Life Church has launched LifeBlood Nigeria.

LifeBlood’s research shows Nigeria collects only 38 per cent of the required amount of blood each year. The official launch followed this year’s edition of the World Blood Donor Day celebrated on June 14, 2016, in Lagos by the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. (Mrs.) Modupe Olaiya.

In her key note address, Olaiya, said that blood transfusion was an essential component of healthcare. “To achieve safe and adequate supply of blood, donation must be voluntary and must also be regular. In line with World HealthOrganisation (WHO) recommendations, all blood donations must come from voluntary donors and should be screened for infections prior to use,” she said.

Olaiya, who was represented by Dr. Samuel Alor, outlined some of the enduring challenges in blood transfusion in Nigeria to include: sub-optimal recruitment and retention of voluntary; non-remunerated blood donors due to wrong cultural belief and lack of awareness surrounding the issue, as well as the dependence on family replacement and commercial blood donors.

She further affirmed that in an attempt to tackle these issues, the Lagos State government established the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC) in June 2004 to regulate and co-ordinate blood transfusion services in the state under the supervision of the Lagos State Ministry of Health.

According to her, the vision was to have a state where only safe blood is transfused in all appropriate health facilities while the mission was to provide safe blood through the recruitment of voluntary blood donors, the screening of every unit of blood for Transfusion Transmissible Infections (TTIs), and the efficient processing of blood for all who require it.

Olaiya maintained that all blood transfused in public and private hospitals in Lagos must carry the logo of the LSBTC to show that the blood has been screened for TTIs.

Meanwhile, Donor Care Manager, NBTS Abeokuta Centre Mrs. Tosin Osofisan, commended LifeBlood Nigeria initiative and also applauded High Life Church for an excellent start with voluntary blood donation and commended the global nature of the campaign.

In his remarks, Mr. Carlton Williams, Pastor of High Life Church, enjoined the congregation and well-wishers to change the world from where they are seated, adding that the understanding of the church’s role in society must change.

According to him, “The era of mere doctrinal purity is past. This is the day when nations are impacted by the structures of the kingdom through you and me.”