By Jonathan Ugbal, Oto-Bong Clement
Cross Riverians, Tuesday joined the world in celebrating the Blood Donors Day with a call for increase in voluntary blood donation in order to ensure there is adequate blood in circulation in case of eventualities.
A rally, organized by players in the sector, haematology department of UCTH, the Calabar Center of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Ministry of Health among others saw the public dressed in red Polo shirts bearing placards with several messages urging people to donate blood to save life.
Iheanacho Obinna, a consultant haematologist practicing in Calabar told CrossRiverWatch in an interview that the message of blood donation is “A serious message we need to send out and because WHO sees that blood is very important and saves lives, it is important to sensitize people on the benefits in order for them to appreciate and become donors”.
Continuing, he said “We are also here to appreciate those who have been donating and the essence of the day is to ensure there is enough blood in blood banks that are well processed and ready to be given out in cases of emergency. There are safety protocols that are followed with the donating age between 18 and 65 years but it can be expanded.”
“It is a preparation against the unknown, as the blood you donate might just be the one you are given back when the need arises” Obinna said when asked about the benefits, adding that “It is also a way of doing a health check-up as you will be evaluated to ensure you are fit to donate blood, it takes away some cholesterol and blood pressure and there are a whole lot of benefits as the bone marrow produces more blood.”
Blood collection centers were penned in UCTH and the NBTS center along Calabar road by Edibe Edibe with several people using the opportunity to donate blood including the husband of the Health Commissioner, Udeme Asibong, a consultant in family medicine practicing in Calabar as a show of support.
A donor who pleaded not to be named told CrossRiverWatch that “I feel great and proud to become a donor today, I will be doing it continuously in four months intervals and I hope others will do so too.”
The Health Commissioner who declined an interview during the rally told CrossRiverWatch in an e-mail that the campaign is actually targeted at thanking blood donors with the aim to achieve 100 percent voluntary blood donation by 2020.
“It focuses on thanking blood donors and highlights the dimension of ‘sharing’ and ‘connection’ between blood donors and patients. In addition, the slogan, ‘Share life, give blood’ has been adopted by WHO for the year 2016 to draw attention to the roles that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and promote community cohesion.
“The campaign aims to highlight stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood, and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people.
“Activities lined up to celebrate the day include commemorative events, meetings, publication of relevant stories, scientific conferences, publication of articles in national, regional and international scientific journals, and other activities that would help in promoting the theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day” Asibong said in the mail.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.