Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Federal Government has said that the process for the enactment of a law establishing a National Blood Services Commission (NBSC) is underway.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mr. A.M. Abdullahi, in a statement to mark this yeer’s Blood Donor Day said that a bill empowering the commission to regulate blood transfusion services in the country was already at the National Assembly.
He explained that part of the role the new legislation will be to put a stop to extortion of the patients by some hospitals who often apply double charges.
It will also seek to ensure sanity and harmonise blood transfusion services nationwide.
“The legislative process for the draft bill for the establishment of the National Blood Services Commission has commenced in earnest and is expected to be concluded early in the tenure of the recently inaugurated 9th National Assembly,” he said.
Abdullahi also said that the National Blood Transmission Service (NBTS) had been set up to coordinate blood safety activities in the country.
He said the ministry had mapped out strategies to ensure safe and sufficient blood transfusion services in the country, adding that a facility for fully automated system will soon become operational at centres located in Abuja and Jos, the Plateau state capital.
The permanent secretary said that 20,503 blood units were collected and screened by NBTS from voluntary blood donors in 2018 at its 17 network centres across the country, while 16, 098 blood units were issued to various hospitals nationwide for blood transfusion purposes.
He further said the NBTS office in Abuja was making effort to obtain relevant accreditation from the African Society of Blood Transfusion.
Abdullahi said that the country can attain self sufficiency in blood transfusion needs if only one percent of its adults will voluntarily donate blood.