‘Inadequate blood supply cause of maternal mortality’

The Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyoh, has said inadequate blood supply to hospitals in the country is a major cause of maternal mortality.

He said some women, who bled severely during child delivery, at times lost their lives because of shortage of blood needed to replenish blood lost.

Dr Srofenyoh, a Gynecologist, who disclosed these at a blood donation exercise, organised by the National Insurance Commission (NIC), in Accra, yesterday, therefore, appealed to the general public to voluntarily donate blood to help stock the National Blood Bank.

The initiative, which formed part of the insurance industry blood donation month was on the theme: “Donate Blood, Save a life: as You Do It For Someone, You Do It For Yourself.”

The NIC, last year, designated the month of August as Insurance Industry Blood Donation Month, during which all players in the insurance industry across the country would be expected to donate blood to help stock the National Blood Bank.

Dr Srofenyoh said though the country needed 310,000 pints of blood annually, the country could only supply 169,000 pints through blood donations and family replacement, leaving a shortfall of 141,000 pints of blood.

He said the current mortality rate in the country stood at 310 per 100,000 live births, which is above the World Health Organisation accepted standard of 70 100,000 live births.

Dr Srofenyoh said women in labour, children, trauma and accident victims and cancer patients needed blood to survive.

He stressed that blood was essential for life and had no alternative or could not be manufactured, and appealed to the public to save life by voluntarily donating blood.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service, Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori, lauded the NIC for the initiative.

She said there was a shortfall of blood donors in the country, explaining that although the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended rate for blood adequacy ratio was 10 units per 1000 people, the country had 5.7 units of 1000 people.

Dr Owusu-Ofori said per the WHO recommendation, if one per cent of the country’s population donated blood, there would be enough blood at the various hospitals in the country.

She said the country needed about 320,000 people, constituting one per cent of the population to donate blood, but about 170,000 donors were donating blood.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Justice Ofori, said the exercise formed part of the Insurance Industry Blood Donation Month, and commitment of the insurance industry players in the country to save lives.

He said as part of the programme, last year, the insurance industry players across the country donated about 800.2 pints of blood, to help stock the National Blood Bank.

Dr Ofori said this year’s blood donation would be carried out throughout the country and about 1000 pints of blood was expected to be donated as part of the programme.


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