FEC Approves National Blood Service Comm.
- Written by Oluwafemi Olowookere
The Executive Bill for the Establishment of National Blood Service Commission has been approved by the Federal Executive Council.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this known on Thursday 14th June 2018 in Abuja while briefing the press on 2018 World Blood Donor Day.
Adewole said “I will also like to announce that an Executive bill for the establishment of a National Blood Service Commission was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council. This bill when enacted into law will serve to consolidate on the gains made in the last 13 years and take the National Blood Service from its current status to the next level, in line with international best practices”.
The Minister said that it was part of the Federal Government Effort to expand the scope of the activities of National Blood Transfusion Services and to sustain achievements recorded so far.
He revealed that Nigeria’s estimated blood need was about 1.8 million units of blood per annum. However, the Minister decried low voluntarily blood donation in Nigeria, adding that only 10% of the total blood collections were non- remunerated.
He said family replacement donation accounted for 30 percent while commercial donation accounted for 60 percent.
Speaking on the benefits of voluntarily blood donation, the Minister said “studies have shown that people who voluntarily donate blood have the likelihood of living longer and majority of the people who are regular blood donors rarely suffer from anemia of the aged.”
He further said “the donor has the opportunity to undertake free health screening and a mini blood test before every donation at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) center. He also said that repeated blood donations enhanced the production of new blood cells, improved the overall cardiovascular health and could lower the risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke by 33 per cent”.
The Minister encouraged all healthy Nigerians to take advantage and enjoy the invaluable benefits. “I wish to inform you that voluntary blood donation is a gift to life, it brings joy to many. Without a doubt, the decision to donate a pint of blood can save many lives especially when the blood is separated into its components including red cells, platelets and plasma.”
In his remarks, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Director, Dr Wondi Alemu, represented by Hamzat Omotayo called on those who had not been donating blood voluntarily to start doing so.
He said that though some Nigerians donate blood voluntarily there was still a wide gap that could only be bridged through voluntary blood donation. He pledged that WHO would continue to provide technical support to Nigeria in that regards.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Health, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, said that the theme of this year’s campaign: “Blood donation as an action of solidarity” with the slogan “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.” highlighted fundamental reasons for unpaid blood donation systems.
He explained that the objectives of the 2018 World Blood Donor Days was to appreciate voluntary donors and to encourage those who had not yet started to do so.