The Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Mamora, says voluntary unpaid blood donation remains abysmally low in Nigeria despite rising concerns on the safety of blood units collected from commercial and family replacement donors.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday during the commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day organised by the National Blood Service Commission, he said only about eight percent of blood donations in Nigeria were unpaid voluntary donation.
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He said, “In order to meet the blood needs of its citizens, every country must have a strong base of voluntary unpaid donors as this also ensures the safety of the blood being transfused.
“A blood service that enables patients to gain ready access to safe, quality blood and blood products free from infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis and others in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system.
“However, this cannot be achieved without a strong base of regular voluntary unpaid blood donors.”
Country Representative of WHO Nigeria, Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said donating just one unit of blood could save the lives of up to three patients.
He said, “While the need for donor blood is universal, access for everyone who needs it is not.
“In Nigeria, with the road traffic accidents, insurgencies and other crises, demand regularly outstrips supply, negatively impacting timely access for all patients who need safe and quality-assured blood to save their lives.”