Foundation Highlights Importance of Blood Donation

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By  Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF) has addressed fears over blood donation noting that the more donations from individuals, the healthier they will be. It said red blood cells had a life span which was subject to renewal for new ones to build up.

Blood donation is crucial because over 234 million major operations are performed worldwide every year, 63 million people undergo surgery for traumatic injuries, 31 million treat cancers, and 10 million for pregnancy- related complications, a large portion of whom require transfusion during the first 24 hours of treatment, as documented by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Also, women were encouraged to donate once in four months while men were expected to donate once in three months as their monthly cycle as well as other medical modalities had been taken into cognisance‎ to forstall health crisis of any kind.

The Chairman of the Board of TCIF, Dr. Deola Philips, who disclosed this in Abuja, for the Foundations’ World Blood Donor Day, said safe and quality blood transfusion reduces the risk of HIV and other diseases that can be transfused through the veins, the means of passage.

While encouraging Nigerians to adopt the culture of blood donation as several hospitals are bereft of adequate blood, he disclosed that ‎blood was never sold in hospitals. Rather, what is paid for by patients are the logistics incured, which include testing, processing, blood bag, transportation and storage.

Dr. Philips, who was represented by the Foundations’ Executive Officer, Dr. Olajumoke Akinsanya, ‎further stated that voluntary blood donation initiative through which the Foundation had organised several voluntary blood donation had provided blood for thousands of adult patients and had also raised over 10,000 voluntary blood donors in its registry. It said it was poised to raise 10,000 more.

He said: “Blood and its products are precious natural resources that can only be obtained from individuals who donate blood or its components. Many lives have been lost due to non-availability of blood for transfusion in our hospitals.”

In the same vein, the national laboratory manager of the National Blood Tranfusion Services (NBTS), Odiabar Kingsley, said the use of Rapid Test Kit had been banned by the WHO in terms of blood testing due to its ineffectiveness.

“A test is usually carried out before blood can be taken from the donor. WHO standard has recommended that ELIZER technology must be used in testing blood as it has the ability to pick HIV after 12-14 days of infection. Most laboratories use Rapid Test Kit and its been discouraged because it detects HIV after 42 days.

“Rapid Test Kit can be used for surveillance purposes but not for blood meant for transfusion which is from blood to blood. No matter how robust the immune system is, the recipient is bound to be affected” he added.