By Patrick Obia
The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints has donated thirty-six (36) Pints of blood to management of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) blood bank.
The donation exercise is part of the Saints’ ways of contribution in saving patients who are in need of blood for survival and forms part of the activities marking the 2021 ‘Light the World’ outreach.
14 out of 50 members were screened out by staff at the transfusion and donor clinic in the department of hematology of the hospital. The 36 who scaled through, donated a pint each.
Alex Nkoro, the President of the Calabar Nigeria Stake of the Later-Day Saints church, told newsmen that members are following the footsteps of Jesus Christ who freely gave his blood and life for mankind. He added that as his followers, it is an obligation to emulate his selfless service to humanity.
“It is our will and little way of lighting the world as members of the church this December through our character and kind deeds. We follow the examples of our master; our savior, Lord Jesus Christ, who freely gave his blood and life for all of us so that we can have the privilege of returning to live in the presence of God. He did something that is very rare and as followers we must follow his footsteps.
“We should emulate the examples of Jesus Christ because Christ was very selfless in his service. We are under obligation to emulate that. We don’t care if the blood is going to be sold or not, what we care is anytime anyone walks in to get blood, it is available,” Nkoro said.
The unit head, Dr. Bassey Bassey expressed optimism that the act will be a “good harvest” for the blood bank. “We are happy and the turnout is impressive, and I am aware more persons are still coming; we are going to have a good harvest of blood to be stored in the hospital blood bank for use in emergency conditions.”
He however noted that, despite the large turnout, the percentage of voluntary blood donations are very low as it only sometimes serves one or two weeks to patients.
There has been a raging controversy over the morality in hospitals selling the blood voluntarily donated by others.
And, clarifying the issue, Bassey averred that; “If a patient comes and require blood the doctor ask him or her to go and bring a donor which will be their husband, wife, brothers, or relatives; some patients don’t have persons they can call to donate for them so we now need this other person who doesn’t even know the patient, but, on their own come to donate blood that are stored in the blood bank.”
Dr. Bassey added that; “nobody sells blood in the hospital. Blood is not sold in the hospital, when patients come and are asked to pay money, they pay for their service charge which is the test carried out on the donated blood – screening for infections, doing the blood level itself, the blood groups (cross-matching) which is compatibility testing. Those group of test is what the patients pay money for.”