Lagos hospitals need 70,000 units of blood annually

As the world marks the World Blood Donor Day, the Lagos State Government has revealed that both public and private health facilities in the state will need 70,00 unit of blood annually to meet the demand of blood transfusion, TheNewsNg reports.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, at a news conference to mark the Day in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday, said because the government was not able to meet the demand for blood in hospitals, that was the reason it asked husbands of pregnant women to donate blood.

He explained that such arrangement was important in case the woman had haemorrhage and as a result, needed blood.

“A recurring question that comes up at our Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Programmes is why husbands of pregnant women are made to donate blood. This is in a bid to ensure that should the pregnant woman haemorrhage and need blood, same is available. This is not a policy but an idea mooted by end-users to ensure timely availability of safe blood.

“Ideally, 100 percent of blood to be transfused should be from voluntary non-remunerated donors but the response is currently inadequate. Out of the 32,619 units of blood donated in public health facilities in 2015, only 13 percent (4,175) were sourced from voluntary donors. 33% and 54% are sourced from replacement and antenatal donors respectively.

“From both public and private health institutions, a cumulative average of 70,000 units of blood is required annually. We need to create wider public awareness on the need for regular, unpaid blood donation and inspire young, healthy people who have not yet keyed in to start donating with a view to have a robust blood bank,” he stated.

Idris also ordered that certified blood for transfusion must bear the logo of the state government as a means of establishing its quality and credibility, while urging families of patients to take note and report such cases and warned that erring public and private blood banks who failed to put the logo shall henceforth be sanctioned.

He advised all private blood banks in the State to register with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service for effective monitoring and quality control.

The commissioner said that voluntary blood donors were known to be the foundation of adequate supply of safe blood due to lower prevalence of Transmission Transmissible Infections (TTIs), adding that voluntary donors could walk-in to any of the 21 public hospitals with blood banks as well as three standalone blood donor centers to donate blood.

He stated that the standalone centers were located at the General Hospital, Lagos; Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET) and Alimosho General Hospital, Igando.

Idris said the highpoint of this year’s celebration was the placement of a bloodmobile vehicle at the Ikeja City Mall to serve as an additional blood donation center.

He stated that the vehicle which shall be placed three times a week within the premises of the mall is equipped with necessary tools to facilitate voluntary blood donation.

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