World Blood Donor Day: Experts urge Nigerians to donate blood for healthy living

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By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – To commemorate this year’s World Blood Donor Day, experts has called on Nigerians to donate unit of blood at least once a year to save lives and also for their healthy living.
Chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, (AMLSN), Kaduna state branch, Comrade Lawal Babsalam, stated during a road walk to mark the day in Kaduna on Monday.
Comrade Babsalam said, blood is one of those fundamental materials that can not be purchased, but essential for human survival particularly critically ill people, pregnant women, and sometimes in cases of emergency.
He explained that this is why the World Health Organization, (WHO), has set aside June 14 globally for people to campaign and tell community members to donate blood to save lives.
He added that there were experts at the event to speak to people on blood components and it uses so that they could collectively save the world from things that cannot be bought from the pharmacy or the market.
On who can donate blood, Comrade Babsalam said; “Globally those that are apparently healthy can donate a pint of blood within the space of 90 days, however, six months is enough.  But everyone is advised to donate blood once a year because this actually helps the donor as an individual as it is the only way one can keep healthy too.
“Even if you do not donate blood it would be wasted, so it is encouraged that all donate blood not necessarily today, as today is meant to campaign and sensitized people about it.”
A Hematologist Medical Laboratory Scientist, Blessing Udeh, said the campaign became necessary since it was discovered that due to lack of awareness people no long turn out to donate blood.
She noted that blood donations is not only necessary or good, but that it also help the donor to know his/her health status. Why? Because the blood collected is screened and information of the donor taken and if by any reason one or two TTIs – Transition Transmissible Infections is detected, the donor will be contacted to ensure he takes the necessary steps to help and better improved his health.
She however expressed fear that due to the situation facing the world people no longer come to donate blood.
“When the world was better the rate of blood donations were frequent. People willingly come to donate blood. This awareness campaign comes at the right time as it seemed people has forgotten blood donations still exist,” she said.
Comrade Udeh urged people donate because blood is a free gift of nature, saying, “when someone has this gift it is expected that such a person assist another who is in dire need.
“People die daily due to anaemia, others die of accident for loss of blood and there is no blood in the bank to assist them,” she added.
According to the experts, donating a unit of blood today will; save the life of an accident victim; prevent childhood deaths; prolong the life of cancer patients; save a patient undergoing surgery; and also save the life of a pregnant woman.
They enumerated the benefits of blood donations to include: enhancement of the production of new blood cells; burns calories; enhances feeling of wellbeing in people.
Others are: reduced cancer risk; opportunity for free health screening; saves lives; brings joy to many; and improved heart health.
The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on 14 June annually. The aim is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to Nate health systems.

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