Association says `blood is national asset’

THE Haematology and Blood Transfusion Scientists Society of Nigeria (HBTSSN) has appealed to Nigerians to build a culture of blood donation to help save lives.

Mrs Uzoamaka Anoke, the Assistant Director, Medical Laboratory Science, National Hospital, Abuja, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

She spoke on the sideline of the 2019 Haematology and Blood Transfusion Scientists Society of Nigeria (HBTSSN), FCT and Northern Region Workshop.

Anoke, a member of the society, said blood is classified as a National Asset in the country.

“It is important that citizens are aware of its importance in achieving a healthy nation,’’ she stressed.

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She, however, decried the low level of awareness of blood donation and the desire of persons to voluntarily approach health and blood centres to donate blood.

“Blood is a National Asset, but the level of awareness and willingness for people to freely donate blood is not too fantastic and this gesture will go a long way to save lives.

“The need for blood is huge, we don’t have enough. The more voluntary donors we have the happier we will be, because people like women in labour, accident victims and babies are always in need.

“Obedience to this call will help save lives. June 14 annually is World blood donor day, but our door at the national hospital is always opened for voluntary donors,’’ she said.

Anoke listed the benefits of donating blood to include that donors do not pay any fee for their blood to be screened in any health facility.

She said both girls and boys from the ages of 17 and above are eligible to donate blood at any blood centre by getting themselves checked and screened before collection.

According to her, some health benefits of blood donation include mini-medical check-up through blood screening, reduction of the risk of health complications, such as heart diseases and cholesterol.

Others are making the bone marrow work more effectively, maintaining a healthy heart and liver, and the joy of saving a human life, which is priceless.

Anoke further stated that the national hospital has acquired improved technological equipment for blood transfusion through the use of modern automation, known as Aphaeresis.

“The Aphaeresis is an excellent technique used in the preparation of blood product, using modern automation.

“National hospital is the largest users. We export the products of Aphaeresis and it has helped improve patients’ care in Nigeria.

“We are creating awareness so that other stakeholders would obtain it for the care of their patients,’’ she added.

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