By Tina Auta
The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of regular blood and plasma donation to save more lives and add to the country’s blood bank for emergency use.
Mr Haruna Abdullahi, Head, Media and Publicity, NBSC, made the call in a statement in Abuja, on Friday, to kick off the 2023 World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) Celebrations, themed “Give Blood, Give Plasma, Share Life, Share Often”.
Abdullahi said the commission would embark on blood donation advocacies in line with this year’s theme, which highlights the importance of both blood and plasma donations while encouraging individuals to donate regularly.
“The commemoration of the 2023 World Blood Donor Day serves as a reminder of the constant need for blood and plasma donations to support healthcare systems and save lives.
“Through these activities, we hope to instill a culture of regular blood donation and encourage more individuals to join the noble cause.
“Communities nationwide are urged to participate in these activities and contribute to the collective effort of saving lives through voluntary blood and plasma donations.
“Together, we can make a significant impact and ensure a sufficient and safe blood supply for those in need,” he said.
He further revealed that the commission would engage with institutions, including religious and traditional establishments, to foster partnerships and raise awareness about the importance of blood donation.
The WBDD is celebrated every June 14 to raise more awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products, as well as appreciate voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
NAN recalls that Dr Omale Amedu, the Acting Director-General, NBSC, had earlier decried the great deficit in Nigeria’s blood bank, which could not cater the needs of over 200 million population.
“Having a population of over 200 million Nigerians, we are expected to have a minimum of two million safe blood units per annum, but as I speak to you we have only about 25,000 safe blood units in our record.
“So, we really need Nigerians to volunteer blood freely because you never can tell, who needs blood, we need to be prepared.
“Our target is to increase blood units collected from voluntary non-remunerated donors and sensitise Nigerians on the one million Safe Blood Units Initiative.
“Such that blood units collected will increase from 25,000 to one million by 2023 and three million by 2030,” he said.