Ghana as at 2021, blood collection index (BCI) was 5.7 indicating the number of persons giving blood voluntarily per 1000 population.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Blood Service of Ghana (NBSG), Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori mentioned during a public sensitisation and blood donation event over the weekend in Accra.
The occasion which was on the theme “Donating blood is an act of solidarity, Join the Effort and Save Lives” aimed at supporting health centers with bloods to support lives.
According to Dr Owusu-Ofori, although the country collected just over half of the blood needs by the population, there was still a continuous need for blood to save and improve the lives of many patients.
“An estimated, 803 women die every day worldwide from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth while unsafe transfusions and lack of access to safe blood has severe impact on mortality,” she said.
Dr Owusu-Ofori highlighted that, the country was just doing about 35 per cent of voluntary collections which did not come close to the estimated annual requirement of 300,000 units targets even when the present situation strongly emphasised the fact that people needed blood all the time.
Answering to the selling of donated blood to patients, Mrs Owusu-Ofori said the payments made by patients were for the cost in processing the donated blood andnot payments of the blood.
“The machines and equipment needed for separating, testing and processing the donated blood before giving it to patients amounted to it high cost in hospitals,” she said.
Further, she appealed to eligible blood donors between age 17 and 60 to visit blood collection centers and donate blood to save and improve lives of patients with severe conditions.
“Blood is not manufactured, someone has to give for another to receive and there is the need for continuous supply of blood to ensure that blood is available when the need arises as it expires after 35 days of collection,” she appealed.
On the part of a renowned International Blood Donor, Mr Arjun Prasad Mainali who recounted his 204th blood donation, said as much as donating blood had not been simple and easy, his inspiration was drawn from the fact that he could save a life.
“I have traveled to 18 countries on 6 continents just to donate blood to save people, it is not harmful rather it keeps the body more functional, all you need is to be in the right category to do so, I encourage everyone to at least donate blood once every year,” he said.
BY ANITA ANKRAH