By Shamsiyya Mijinyawa
* 2021 slogan: “Give Blood And Keep The World Beating”.
* Blood Is Free, Not For Sale In FMC Yola
* Only 5% of the blood donation is free, 60% is paid, while 35% donated by patient relatives
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on June 14 to promote awareness regarding need for safe blood and to appreciate the contribution of voluntary blood donors in saving lives.
The need for blood is universal but access to blood for all those who need it is not.
“Blood shortages are particularly acute in developing countries. To ensure that everyone who needs safe blood has access to it, all countries need voluntary, unpaid donors who give blood regularly, “said the World Health Organisation, while announcing the World Blood Donor Day 2021.
Joining the popular call, Federal Medical Centre, FMC Yola, Adamawa state, northeast Nigeria has celebrated the World Blood Donor Day today, Tuesday, June I5, because June 14 was a public holiday, marking Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
There are however, some donors who were at the hospital yesterday, believing that FMC Yola operates a 24-hour service.
Speaking, the Resident Haematologist Dr Chavala Nathan Gundiri revealed that there is the need for aggressive advocacy, with a view to making the citizenry key into the exercise as a social responsibility in saving lives, explaining, as statistics has shown, it is only 5% of the blood donation that is free, 60% is paid, while 35% of the donation is done by patient relatives. There is the need therefore, the changed narrative.
According to the hematologist, the safest donors are the voluntary, unpaid and regular blood donors, people with no risky behaviour and people who meet donation criteria, which include but not restricted to being healthy, safe blood, falling between the ages of 18 to 65 years, having 50kg and above weight, having a PCV 36 to 45 for female and 40 to 52 for male and leading a sexually safe lifestyle.
The hematologist also identified those who are not to donate blood to include the medically unfit, pregnant and breastfeeding women, those on medication and those with sickle cell and venereal diseases.
According to the hematologist, the beneficiaries of the donated blood are those with severe anaemia and bleeding in pregnancy and childbirth, accident victims, patients undergoing surgery and cancer, AIDs and sickle cell patients.
The hematologist listed some of the health benefits of blood donation to include free medical screening in the hospital and listed in the donor register to be able to benefit from the donation should the need arises.
According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, helping others can:
* Reduce stress
* Improve emotional well-being and physical health
* Get rid of negative feelings
* Provide a sense of belonging and reduce isolation
Dr Jasini James, Consultant Hematologist is the head of Haematology Department, FMC Yola. He debunked the insinuation that the blood donated would be diverted for sale, where he boldly said that FMC Yola does not sell blood, she only charges for screening and investigation.
The consultant haematologist said the turnout was impressive. “From the register 92 donors participated in this year’s exercise, which lasted from 7am to 4pm.
“However, donors can still come forward even after today. Our blood Bank is adequate, that is to say that we have standard blood storage facility”.
The Haematologist has assured that the blood would be put to good use, directed at the purpose for which the donation was made.
Dr. James has commended the medical director FMC Yola, Prof Auwal Muhammad Abubakar for the maximum support and cooperation and the management and entire members of staff of the hospital who participated in the exercise.
James also thanked the donors for the free donation and the members of the press for the free media coverage of the exercise as a corporate social responsibility.