The Head of the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe, Dr. Kashim Pindiga, has bemoaned the lack of voluntary blood donors, noting that a greater percentage of those who elect to donate blood do so for commercial purposes.
Pindiga stated this while delivering a lecture organised by the department to commemorate 2022 Blood Donor Day themed: “Donating blood is an act of solidarity, join the effort and save lives”.
Pindiga traced the history of world blood donor day to Karl Landsteiner who won a Nobel prize award for the ABO blood group in 1900, disclosing that fourteen June being his birthday, was set aside by World Health Organisation to commemorate the day.
He said the day is to encourage individuals from all countries to donate blood voluntarily to save the lives of those who need blood because their level of blood is low due to one or more ailments.
Pindiga said, “although there are commercial donors, the best and safest are voluntary donors, hence, the awareness and appeals for people to voluntarily donate their blood.”
Responding to the question on the number of voluntary donors who come to the Federal Teaching Hospital, the HOD added, “the rate is very low, there are more commercial donors than the voluntary ones.”
He also dispelled the misconception that women are not potential donors adding that although women experience monthly mensuration they could still donate so long as they are in good health and weight.
Pindiga said, “Aside from saving lives, blood donation is also beneficial to the donor as it provides health education and encourages the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, increases self-esteem, and provides an opportunity for regular checkups among others.”
Some of the blood donors that spoke with PUNCH HealthWise at the teaching hospital said they were voluntarily donating their blood to save the lives of many that may require a blood transfusion.
Also speaking, Chief Medical Director of the Teaching Hospital, Dr. Yusuf Abdullahi who was represented by Chairman Medical Advisory Committee CMAC Dr. Esin Abdurrazak, said the importance of blood donation cannot be over-emphasised in saving the lives of many patients.
He appealed to people to imbibe the spirit of voluntary donation of blood saying it helps save the lives of many emergency patients.
On his part, the Deputy CMAC Dr. Sani Adamu, also stressed the importance of voluntary blood donation, saying patients may require fifty to hundred pints depending on the blood product needed hence, the need for the people to volunteer themselves for blood donation.
He said people should be empathetic when it comes to blood donation, noting that it may one day be their turn to require such help.
He said, “If you refuse to donate blood and others do not you may one day require transfusion and only God will save you.”
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