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Man donates blood to 19 people in 8 years

Malam Garba Buhari of Saye village in Bichi local government area in Kano State has been a commercial driver for over 34 years. He knows…

Malam Garba Buhari of Saye village in Bichi local government area in Kano State has been a commercial driver for over 34 years. He knows virtually nothing on the World Blood Donor Day (June 14) set aside to encourage the need for safe blood and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. Nevertheless, he has been donating blood to help save the lives of so many people.

Malam Garba, as he is popularly known, went to the extent of pasting his mobile phone number on the notice boards of three hospitals in Kano so that people in need of blood and cannot afford it can call him for a blood donation. “My number is there at the Murtala Muhammed General Hospital, Bichi General Hospital and Waziri Gidado Hospital in Kano. I did this because I have seen a lot of cases where people died, most especially women during child birth, when they needed blood transfusion and could not afford it.

“Thank God, so far I have donated blood to over 19 people within the last eight years free. Most of the beneficiaries are women. I was told that by donating the blood to those people I have saved their lives and I am always ready to offer my blood whenever such emergency cases arise in those three hospitals and beyond,” he said.

Malam Saminu Bichi, a laboratory technician at the  Bichi General Hospital, has taken Garba’s blood on several occasions. “Garba’s blood group is O Positive (O+) and he has been a very active and healthy individual who sacrifices his blood to those who can’t afford it in order to save their lives,” he told Weekly Trust in Kano.

Hajiya Hauwa, a 45-year old woman, whose life was saved by Malam Garba five years ago, still remembers with nostalgia. “That day, all hope was given up on me, I was in labour for more than necessary and it was in the middle of the night. Then Garba was contacted and he came immediately. I was taken to the hospital where I gave birth to my last born. But later that same day the doctors said I needed blood transfusion. We had no money, but Garba offered his blood and it was taken; that was how I was saved. For us here in this village, he (Garba) is a messiah. We wish we could have more of his kind.”

Another beneficiary of Garba’s magnanimity is Malam Dahiru Z. Mohammed. Garba gave donated blood to him thrice. “What can I say? I am alive today by the grace of the Almighty and because Garba did what no one could have done to me, not even my relatives. I was down with a strange sickness that almost made me to lose hope of surviving, but Garba came to my rescue   three   times. May God continue to give him strength and good health,” Mohammed said.

According to Garba, the love for humanity is what has made him to get involved in this type of philanthropic activities. “I know my financial standard and I know how it is for one to lose a relation just because one is not able to take that person to where he could get help. For now, I cannot tell you precisely what influenced my decision to do what I am doing; but I know I am doing something positive to my community and humanity in general. I cannot estimate how many men and women I have taken to access health facilities in my 45 years’ experience as a driver,” said Garba.

Garba told Weekly Trust that he was a beneficiary of a joint effort by the Partnership for Transforming Health Systems Phase II (PATHS2) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Bichi. Drivers were trained under Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) to appreciate basic knowledge of first aid in transporting patients, especially pregnant women, to health facilities.

According to him, it was after he had received the training that he came to realise that having the zeal to assist is not enough. “Before the training I thought having the ability to assist your community is enough, but after I realized that you could be doing harm trying to assist without knowing how to handle the patient,” he added.

Ibrahim Ado Badume, a member of NURTW in Badume motor pack in Bichi, is a close associate of Malam Garba. He said though he has been a friend to Garba for a very long time, he has never seen a man like him in his life. “Garba never allows his car to run out of fuel and even if he has to travel out without his car, he will make sure he left his keys with the instructions that should any emergency situation arise, we should use it.

“He sacrificed his vehicle and time to serve his community most especially on health issues. He has made it clear to members of his community that whenever and where ever an emergency case arises, he should be called upon for possible transportation to the nearest health facility. He is an exceptional person, because I cannot be like him and I pray that God should give us more people like Garba,” he added.

Malama Lubabatu Salisu of Saye village said she was in labour for three days and her husband was in far away Benin republic. “It was Garba who took me to Bichi General Hospital from where we were referred to the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital for the required attention. He didn’t ask for a single penny for what he did. Unfortunately, the baby died; I could have asked the father to name the child Garba,” said Lubabatu.

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