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Nigeria falls short of WHO blood donation standard, says BBSN chairman




The chairman of the Blood Bank Society of Nigeria (BBSN), Dr. Ifionu Bart, last Thursday, disclosed that Nigeria falls short of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard of blood donation, and as a result, many lives are lost on daily basis.

According to Bart, the WHO’s standard of blood donation is 1 per cent of every nation’s population, but records in Nigeria indicates that, blood donation is not even up to a 0.5 per cent, which is very bad.

Relating this poor figure to the traditional believes of Nigerians, he explained that, most Nigerians believe that once they donate blood, they lose power and do not become normal again.

He further said that donating blood once every three months helps replenish blood supply in the human system and makes the donor more active, as well as saving some one’s life.

The theme for the conference is: “Automation and current trends in modern blood banking and medical diagnosis”.

In his address, the keynote speaker, Dr. E.O Nwoye, Head of Department, Biomedical Engineering department, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said, the major problem with blood donation is the testing, because it must be ensured the blood is free from infections before it can be used.

But it is sad that, the conventional method of testing is still used in some blood donation centers, he therefore urged for the use of automated way as highlighted in the theme of the conference. “This will enhance increase in productivity”, he said.

Speaking at the society’s annual conference in Lagos, Bart told The Guardian that there was a discovery of a new platform called the ‘red bank’, which will aid easy access of blood just by sending an SMS of the blood specification, number of pints needed and local government area to a short code (35070) and the sender will be given information on the blood supply.

“This is an advancement of what currently exists, where people go from one blood bank to the other in search of blood, wasting time and putting patients’ life at risk,” he added.

“Lagos state is being used as a pilot state because blood transfusion is highly standardized and blood banks are accredited by government, but we hope to extend to other states with time,” Bart said.

The conference witnessed the Presence of some dignitaries like the National President of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria, (AMLSN), Alh. Toyosi Raheem, Head of Department, Biomedical Engineering Department, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. E.O Nwoye, Chairman of the Blood Bank Society of Nigeria (BBSN), Dr. Ifionu Bart among others.

The BBNS chairman urged the Federal Government to support the blood transfusion course financially in other to make head way in their aim to provide timely access of safe blood to Nigerians.

Bart also advised the general public to walk up to any blood donation center and donate to safe a life, for voluntary donation remains the best way of collecting blood to safe lives.

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