JUST IN: 95% blood donation in Nigeria given by commercial donors – physician
National Coordinator of the National Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Joseph Amedu, on Monday disclosed that the country needs at least two million units of blood annually.
This is just as he bemoaned that only 500,000 units of blood are donated yearly, adding further that 95 per cent of them are from commercial donors while only five per cent are voluntary donors.
Speaking at a webinar organised by PUNCH Media Foundation in commemoration of the 2021 World Blood Donor Day, Okubanjo urged the masses to learn to donate blood voluntarily.
“People should learn to donate blood and do it voluntarily. The more blood we give, the more lives we save,” he said.
According to Amedu, it has become imperative for every blood received to be subjected to screening to know the health status of donors.
The concerned physician noted that the safety of blood donated, especially by commercial donors, cannot be guaranteed without allowing them to undergo thorough screening.
He also admitted that many of the commercial donors often comprises touts, substance abusers, gays and carriers of diseases who sell their blood for pecuniary benefits.
“Commercial blood donation constitutes the largest portion of the country’s blood source which is also the case of most low-income countries.
“They are not very safe at all. About half a million units of blood are collected annually in Nigeria and only five per cent of these are from voluntary blood donors. Ninety-five per cent of the blood units sourced from commercial blood donors are what we have in Nigeria.”
“Blood is life and can be very dangerous and can kill if not properly used. Ten per cent of blood transmitted in Nigeria carry the risk of transmitting HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and Syphilis,” he said.