Group raises awareness on constant need for voluntary blood donation

Janet Ogundepo 

In commemoration of World Blood Donor Day, SustainablePEOPLE, a group dedicated to creating awareness about social responsibility and sustainability, embarked on a campaign to educate the public about the significance of blood donation.

This event themed “20 Years of Celebrating Giving: Thank You, Blood Donors” was held in partnership with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, recently at the Gbagada Central Hospital, Lagos state.

The event culminated in some members of the group donating blood to the nation’s blood bank as a service to humanity and to bridge the gap in blood supply donations nationwide.

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14 every year to raise awareness of the need for blood donation and to celebrate voluntary blood donors globally.

In her welcome address, the Health Safety and Environment Manager at VitaFoam Nigeria PLC and team lead of the SustainablePEOPLE Blood Donor Drive,

Abiola Aminu stated that the event was to raise awareness of the urgent need for increased blood donation in the country.

Aminu said, “We are doing this to mark World Blood Donor Day and to raise awareness about the critical need for blood donation.

“In Nigeria, the demand for blood is increasing due to the rise in specialised medical cases such as leukaemia and cancer, but our blood banks are running low. This campaign is our response to that urgent need.

“Before now, there wasn’t much awareness about the importance of blood donation. Many people, myself included, had misconceptions about the process.

“Through our webinar with the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, we educated our members on the dos and don’ts of blood donation. This enlightenment has significantly increased our turnout today.”

Also speaking, an HSE practitioner and team member, Mebawondu Samson, highlighted the life-saving impact of the blood drive.

“As an emergency specialist, I see firsthand the critical need for blood.

“The WHO reports that over 1.19 million people die annually from road traffic accidents, and every day, more than 6,000 people need blood. By donating blood, we are helping to save lives and making our communities safer,” Samson said.

According to the WHO, out of 118.5 million blood donations collected globally, only 40 per cent come from high-income countries, representing just 16 per cent of the world’s population.

The WHO advocates national blood policies and integrated blood supply networks to ensure safe and sufficient blood supplies.

Speaking further, Samson addressed the persistent gap between blood demand and supply in Nigeria.

“Every day, about 6,000 people need blood in our hospitals. If just 10 per cent of Nigeria’s population donated blood, we could meet this demand. However, misconceptions and lack of awareness deter many potential donors. We need to educate our communities about the safety and necessity of blood donation to close this gap,” he said.

To dispel common myths, Samson said, “Many people believe donating blood will harm them or that their blood will be misused. It’s important to know that your blood is thoroughly screened, and only those fit to donate are allowed to do so. Blood donation is an act of solidarity, and every drop counts.”

 

 

 

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