Dr Victor Asare Bampoe, Deputy Minister of Health, has called on all health facilities that undertake blood transfusion therapy to improve access to safe blood and blood products from voluntary donors for its intended purpose.
He said research had shown that blood from voluntary sources was safer in terms of infection risk than other sources, hence the need to improve its accessibility.
The minister said this at an event to climax the World Blood Donor Day celebrations in the country.
Dr Bampoe noted that sustainable supply of adequate safe blood through voluntary blood donation was the only way forward and the surest way of eliminating the family replacement system where the burden of blood supply was placed on families rather than health systems.
He said voluntary blood donation was the only way to meet the goal for all countries to obtain all blood supplies from 100 per cent voluntary unpaid blood donors by 2020.
He said the theme for the day: “Thank you for saving my life,” reinforced the idea that if every healthy person gives blood, it can help prevent maternal mortality through hemorrhage, save a child with marked destruction of blood from severe malaria or sickle cell victims and others in need of blood”.
Dr Bampoe said this year’s campaign also sought to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products was essential for all countries as part of comprehensive approach to prevent needless deaths.
He said the ministry was taking concrete steps to ensure that most Ghanaians “develop the culture to donate blood voluntarily since blood is a drug and its efficacy must be guaranteed”.
The minister also used the celebration to launch the “Moja App”, a new digital platform for smart phone users, where donors could interact with dedicated health professionals to offer free medical advice or consultation as a benefit for voluntary blood donors.
The cloud based app with back-ends makes it possible for the National Blood Service (NBS) to keep its stock replenished, search, march and conveniently contact inspired donors, in case of emergencies to donate to save a life.
Dr Justina K Ansah, Director NBS, noted that the need for blood is constant and for many patients who needed blood transfusion, a single donation could make the difference between life and death.
Dr Ansah said only one per cent of Ghana’s population were required to donate blood regularly and encouraged the citizenry to feel the need of donating blood to save precious lives.