NBTS raises alarm on declining number of blood donors

NBTS raises alarm on declining number of blood donors

Jane Akubuiro, the Donor Care Manager, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), has expressed concern over the daily decline in the number of blood donors in the country.

Mrs Akubuiro made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

She said that the least expected daily number of donors per day ought to be 30 to be able to cater for the needs of the public.

She, however, expressed concern that the service recorded five walk-in donors on the average per day in recent times.

The NBTS official assured would-be donors of safety, saying “there will be adequate medical test for them to ascertain whether or not they are fit to donate or not.

“There will be Haemoglobin level test, pulse rate check, blood pressure check, weight check and other body checks.

“Blood is also tested for blood group and screened for some major blood-borne diseases which the donor is immediately informed in strict confidentially if any of these tests show positive results.”

Allaying the misconception among some donors that blood donation could be dangerous, she said “when blood is withdrawn the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood.

“New cells are produced by the marrow within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one to two months.

“Therefore, donating blood helps to stimulate the production of new blood cells which helps the body stay healthy and work more efficiently.”

Mrs Akubuiro said NBTS would organise a donor’s week to host and entertain donors at the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN), Abuja, as part activities marking the World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

She called on philanthropists and stakeholders to donate food and drinks for the purpose of feeding the donors.

Meanwhile, a cross-section of Abuja residents gave reasons why they do not donate blood to include lack of education on the subject and none of their family members requiring transfusion.

Blessing Etumnu, a trader, said that she has not seen reason to donate blood before as none of her family members has ever had reason for blood transfusion.

“I have not donated blood to anybody before because I have not had reason to do so.

“Moreover, none of my family members has had an issue of blood transfusion that will require me to donate,” she said.

Simon Babalola, a civil servant, said that he had not gone for voluntary blood donation because his genotype is `AS’ and he does not think his blood will be needed.

“My genotype is AS and I feel it will not be strong to help a sick person that is why I have never gone to donate,” he said.

Obioma Okonkwo, a cosmetic seller, said that she had heard about blood bank in time past but she never thought of going there to donate.

“I have heard of blood banks before when the awareness was much during a particular regime but for some time now, I have not heard about them as I don’t know if they still exist.

“I always think there are particular set of people who donate and have a registered club for that.

“Awareness should be more on the need to donate as I don’t mind donating once I know the venue to do so,” she said.

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