The National Blood Service (NBS) on Monday marked this year’s National Blood Donor Day in Accra, with an appeal to the government to help constitute the Blood Service Board to help facilitate its independent operations.
The day, which also saw the launch of the annual blood donation campaign 2023, was marked in collaboration with the Rotary Clubs of Accra and Accra Ridge on the theme “Donating Blood is an Act of Solidarity,” with the slogan “Join the Efforts and Save Lives.”
Blood Donor Day is marked to show appreciation to all regular voluntary unpaid blood donors and other stakeholders for their life-saving gift of blood; create awareness on the need for blood donation and encourage Ghanaians to join the voluntary service by either donating blood or supporting the service.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NBS, Dr Shirley Owusu Ofori, said so much responsibility had been entrusted to them with the passage of the NBS bill into an Act for which reason they needed a board, as a matter of urgency, to help oversee its operations.
She said the NBS was prepared to continually collaborate with all key stakeholders including the government, towards ensuring blood safer for a healthy nation.
“Through the support of our regular voluntary unpaid blood donors and key stakeholders, we have been able to carry out our mandate and still making progress,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Dr Ofori said there was still work to be done as the service strived to achieve 100 per cent voluntary unpaid blood donation “ which I believe we can, when we all of us join the efforts.”
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Health Minister in a statement read on his behalf thanked the voluntary donors for their efforts and appealed to the general public to come on board.
“Let us join efforts to increase voluntary blood donations to ensure the timely availability of blood and blood products. I urge all of us to develop the habit of regular voluntary unpaid blood donation and to understand that voluntary blood donation is our civic responsibility,” he added.
Mr Agyeman-Manu further urged ministries, departments, agencies, the media, schools and corporate organisations to support state-based or community-based blood donation at least twice in a year to augment blood supply and sustenance all year round.
“My special recognition goes to the Rotary Clubs of Accra and Accra Ridge for their continuous support for the celebration of the National Blood Donor Day,” he added.
The Health Minister said the ministry appreciated the contributions of all stakeholders who contributed towards improving the availability of safe blood for patients who needed blood transfusion through regular sponsorship of the annual celebration.
The day saw Isaac Teye Odonkor adjudged the National Best Blood Donor; Manya Krobo Senior High School as the Best National Blood Donating School, Second Cycle School Category; University of Cape Coast as the Best National Blood Donating School, Tertiary Category; Rev Bismark Laryea as the Regional Best Blood Donor and a special recognition went to Mr Henry Abossey Thompson for donating the 100th time.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR & ELIZABETH OFFEI