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Why patients are made to pay for blood screening – expert


The founder of Action on Blood, Abiola Okubanjo, on Monday harped on the importance of getting every donor blood screened before subjecting patients to the process of transfusion.

This is just as she drummed up support for voluntary blood donation to save lives.

Action on Blood is a social startup that aims to pool together a global community of blood donors and help people who are interested in donating blood by providing resources, training and funding.

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.

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Addressing the theme, ‘Why Nigeria needs more free blood donors’, the expert lamented that many patients across the world die for lack of blood every day.

“People need to start seeing blood in the light of water. For every blood that leaves the body, fresh ones are replaced,” she said.

The founder of Action on Blood further justified the contentious payment for blood screening, stressing that many people misconstrued the motive behind the policy.

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According to her, it is wrong to assume that blood could just be taken from a donor and immediately be deployed for transfusion.

The chief executive officer of United Kingdom-based Sahara BioMedix maintained that such blood has to be subjected to thorough screening, which doesn’t come cheap.

“Every blood has to be screened for HIV and Hepatitis to ensure that it is clean and safe before use.

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“To do that, one won’t expect officials to use the same syringe and screening device for every patient. The fund is needed to procure all these including awareness campaigns,” she said.

While admitting that there is little presence of billboards and banners in the public, she called on both the government and the private sector to help carry out awareness at the grassroots level.