Mary Ekah
Kewalran Group Chanrai through its outreach, Kewalran Chanrai Foundation in conjunction with Lagos State Blood Transfusion and Rotary Club Lagos Island recently held an in-house blood donation exercise where over a hundred of its staff voluntarily turned out to donate blood to save lives. The exercise which was conducted at the Kewalran Chanrai Group Corporate office premises along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Isolo, had officials of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Centre on ground who carried out the exercise diligently making sure that due procedures were followed as the staff trooped in.

Kewalran Chanrai Group, which started the blood donation exercise in collaboration with Rotary Club of Lagos in 2013 with 58 donors, has since remained a passionate life saver. They have done several of the blood donation exercise in the last couple of years and this year again another hundred donors made available by the company.

A doctor who handled the exercise and chose to remain anonymous enumerated the criteria for donating blood. “The first thing is that a voluntary donor must have the interest to want to save the life of someone and with that mind set, the person will be subjected to certain tests. Both male and female between the ages of 18 and 65 can donate and you must have a weight of 50kg and above and hemoglobin of about 25g and above. Your blood pressure must be within the range of 100/60 and 150/90.

You must not carry any form of tattoo. That is the eligibility and then you would be required to fill a form where you would be asked questions about your daily life, medical fitness and so on. And if you have any contrary information on your form, we may not allow you donate blood because what we are looking for is safe blood. Even after all these, we screen the blood to determine if these donors have any infection in their system and if we discover any, we invite them for counseling telling them never to donate their blood again because such blood as their would only be thrown away after being collected from them. And then we refer them to appropriate channels based on what was found in their blood.”

A civil engineer that works with the project department of Kewalran Group, Fadeyi Olaitan, expressed satisfaction and a lot of relief as he donated his blood to the Blood Bank. “I have done this before and I know how relieved I felt when I donated blood last year and this years. I could not wait for another period to come for me to donate and here I am today donating my blood,” Olaitan said, adding that the excess blood is not good for his body as it gives him headache and weakness of body and so donating blood to save life is also in a way, an avenue for to his being healthy.

“Every day people need blood – the sick, women giving birth, accident victims and all other people in critical medical conditions and I may need blood one day and for that reason we at Rotary Club Lagos Island have taken upon ourselves to donate blood as regular as possible. We at the Rotary Club of Lagos Island and Kewalran Group in collaboration with Lagos State Blood Transfusion Centre are committed to donating blood and saving lives,” said the Rotary District Governor – Special Representative, Ramesh Bsiwal.

The Group Managing Director, Kewalran Group Chanrai, Mr. Siva Subramanian, explained that the Kewalran Chanrai Foundation has been very active on healthcare projects in Nigeria and it was while running the hospital project that they realised that blood shortage was a major issue in Nigerian hospitals. And so in 2013 they started organising blood donation camp. He said that with a lot of education, a lot of Nigerians are now embarking on blood donation.

The Chartered President, Rotary Club of Lagos Island, Vinod Garg, said free blood donation is one of the economical ways to save lives and this is something found missing in Nigeria. He said that was what informed the Kewalran Chanrai Group three years ago to embark on regular exercise by organising blood donation camps to encourage Nigerians to donate blood starting with its staff, adding, “And then Rotary Club of Lagos Island was invited to join and today we are glad to be part of the exercise to save lives.”

The Chairman District 9110, State Blood Donation Committee, Dr. Femi Akodu stressed that for the Blood Bank in any country to be adequately equipped, “about three per cent of its population has to embrace this activity that we are doing today, which is voluntary blood donation.” He was however sad that in Nigeria, only less than one per cent of the population engage in this activity while 85 per cent of the population is demanding to use the less than one per cent blood donated, adding, “You can see the magnitude of the deficit that we are talking about.” He therefore said that there was need to find a way of encouraging people to embrace voluntary blood donation, noting that, “That is the Kewalran Chanrai Foundation in partnership with Rotary Club Lagos Island is trying to do by encouraging voluntary blood donation and at the me time boost the blood that we have available in our local blood bank.”