‘Lagos Requires 260,000 Units of Blood Yearly’


…. Urge residents to donate blood voluntarily

Martins Ifijeh

The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS), Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya has said that the state will require over 260,000 units of blood to meet the growing blood demand for transfusion.

Osikomaiya who disclosed this in Lagos recently, urged residents to donate blood voluntarily, adding that efforts were being intensified by the state government through LSBTS to ensure that all blood for transfusion were from voluntary blood donors.

Appealing to residents to donate blood voluntarily in order to meet the growing demand of safe blood for transfusion in the all health facilities, she said: “The demand for blood is ever present and increasing especially with the growing population of Lagos State.

“At least, 260,000 units of blood yearly is required to meet our blood transfusion demand and this is according to the WHO estimate that blood donation from at least one to two percent of the population is needed to meet their blood needs. This is why we need residents to donate voluntarily to meet these demands and save precious lives”.

The executive secretary hinted that Lagos State has less than 10 per cent of voluntary blood donors, stressing that over 90 per cent of blood was sourced from replacement donors who according to her, have a higher risk and prevalence of transfusion transmissible infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.

The Executive Secretary posited that creating awareness on the vital role of voluntary blood donation toward achieving the goal of saving lives is very important to completely bring to the barest minimum the number of deaths related to loss of blood.

“We therefore cannot over emphasize the need to ensure availability of blood in our blood banks where patients who require blood transfusion can be readily supplied. That is why we are intensifying our awareness campaign to encourage more voluntary blood donors to join others who give their blood willingly and freely without knowing the recipients”, she added.

While noting that the LSBTS has zero tolerance for transfusion of unscreened and unsafe blood, Osikomaiya assured that no blood will be transfused into a patient unless such blood has been screened, tested and labelled with the Lagos State Logo by the screening and certification unit of LSBTS and found to be negative for all transmissible diseases.

“We will continue to advocate, monitor and enforce policies aimed at the strengthening of external quality control and proficiency testing in all blood screening centers and blood banks in order to ensure optimal quality of bloods for transfusion,” she added.

Osikomaiya noted that the LSBTS will continue to promote the recruitment of voluntary blood donors, ensure adequate supply of safe blood, ensure screening of every unit of blood for transfusion transmissible infections and carry out efficient processing of blood to all who require it.