The Federal Government is appealing to Tertiary and Secondary hospitals to embrace the Hospital Linkage Program designed by the National Blood Transfusion Service in order to ensure increased access to safe blood and improvement of maternal and child health indices in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry, Mr Abdulaziz made the appeal while briefing journalist on the side-line of the 2019 World Blood Donor Day.
He disclosed that considerable progress has also been made in institutionalizing a Blood Rotation Scheme through which linkages is established with hospitals in both urban and rural communities.
He explained that the NBTS is set to migrate its blood screening platform from a semi-automated system to a fully automated system at its centres in Abuja and Jos.
“As we speak, one Architect i1000SR equipment has been installed at each of these two centres. This equipment has a shorter turn-around time and will ensure the availability of blood units screened for the mandatory four transfusion transmissible infections (HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis) within twenty-four hours.”
The Perm Secretary said that the theme of this year’s campaign “Blood Donation and Universal Access to Safe Blood Transfusion, as a component of achieving universal health coverage, with the slogan “Safe blood for all” has also been adopted to emphasize the vital need for safe blood in the delivery of health care and the crucial role that voluntary blood donations play in achieving the goal of universal health coverage.
“The theme strongly encourages more people all over the world to become blood donors that donate blood regularly in order to build a sustainable pool that is sufficient to meet the nation’s needs of all patients requiring transfusion. For as long as the demand out strips the supply, touting and racketeering of blood and blood products will continue to thrive.”
He therefore advised Nigerians to donate blood on regular basis.
“The situation can improve if only 1% of our country’s adult population commit themselves to voluntary non-remunerated blood donation on a regular basis.”
He added that public education of secondary school students is being vigorously pursued through its Secondary School Blood Safety program which seeks to encourage the culture of voluntary blood donation from an early age.
“It is our hope that secondary school students will commit to voluntary blood donation on attaining the age of 18 years. The social media is also being utilized to build a base of voluntary regular youth donors.”
The World Blood Donor Day is set aside to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products world-wide, while also thanking voluntary unpaid donors for their life-saving gift of blood.