Doctors, NMA lead donation campaign for blood bank

Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LASUTH. Image sourcenursingworldnigeria

Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LASUTH. Image sourcenursingworldnigeria

More than 20 doctors in Lagos public hospitals led in the initiative to donate blood for their prospective patients in the state.

The exercise, according to the doctors, is to show the public that blood donation is healthy and a pressing humanitarian need.

The doctors, among other members of the public who gathered at this year’s commemoration of World Blood Donors’ Day, held at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, said the exercise would save lives of patients currently dying for lack of blood and lift the blood bank currently empty.

With increased advocacy by members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), at least 30 pints of blood were gathered from 40 persons that volunteered to donate to save lives on the occasion.

Lead convener and NMA National Committee Chairman on World Health Organisation (WHO) activities, Dr. Dumebi Owa, said the donor day was very important to Nigeria because of the empty state in which the national and state-owned blood banks were in.

Stressing the need for blood, Owa said an empty blood bank is a public health risk in a congested environment prevalent with road accident victims, pregnancy-related bleeding, sickled cell (SS) patients and people going for surgeries.

Apparently impressed by the turnout at LASUTH ground, Owa said that the campaign would next be going to schools, to do public enlightenment campaigns and further break the myths about blood donations among the youths. Shortly after she also donated, Treasurer of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Lagos, Dr. Ime Okon, said frequent blood donation also comes with a lot of health benefits.

“For you that is donating, apart from the sense of satisfaction that you are saving a life, it helps you to regenerate new cells. Whether you donate or not, after about 42 days, the blood cells will still breakdown.

But if you had donated and save life, wouldn’t it have been better?  “If you donate, you are immediately assured of constant new cells to replace the given blood.

That is the benefit of being a frequent donor. Three to six months, you can donate,” Okon said.   She added that doctors often donate in their wards, especially when they find that none of their patient’s relative is just fit enough to donate for the dying patient.

Chairman of the NMA, Dr. Tope Ojo, in a lecture, emphasized the urgency that often surrounds the need for blood, which warrants that a thinking society had to make provisions for blood in the blood bank.

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