Nigerians have been advised to imbibe the culture of voluntary blood donation in order to checkmate the no blood syndrome in the various blood banks in the country.
Statistics available have shown that not less than eight million units of blood are needed in Nigeria but only 1.6 million units are collected presently.
The World Health Organisation recommendations 10 per cent of a given population should donate blood once a year to meet requirements. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, voluntary blood donation is still less than five per cent.
In a chat with Good Health Weekly during a voluntary blood donation organised by the 7th Day Adventist Church in Partnership with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services, LSBTS, Elder Samuel Babatunde Babalola who stated that the Church decided to include blood donation in its annual church conference holding all over the world stressed the need for Nigerians to change their perception about blood donation.
Babalola said the average life span of blood cells is about 120 days after which the cells die. “We try to educate people on why they should donate blood. And average adult will be able to donate blood about four times a year. Donating blood also puts the bone marrow into functions.
We believe that people who cannot donate blood are the nursing mothers or people who have recently been discharged from the hospital, then the elderly people above 65 or people below 17 but between this group 17 and 65 can donate.”
As Christians, there is no point preaching to be our brothers’ keeper when we cannot praticalise it by donating in order to save lives and this is an act of kindness.
On the benefits of voluntary blood donation, he noted that “Road accidents occur in every parts of the country and if they get to the hospital in an emergency department, if the bank blood is empty people are just left to die. Without blood being replaced in our various blood banks, people will continue to die.
Today, not less than 600 people are expected to donate blood today and they will be handed over to the State Blood Transfusion services for emergency cases. By doing this we are extending out of friendship and it’s an act of kindness for us.