Superstition fueling lack of patronage in blood donation

A former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Professor Agyeman Badu-Akosa has blamed superstition among Ghanaians for the lack of patronage in blood donation exercises, leading to frequent blood shortages in most hospitals in the country.

According to him, the fear of people using blood for rituals and other spiritual purposes served as a disincentive for people to donate blood.

Prof. Badu-Akosa said this yesterday during the closing ceremony of a blood donation exercise held at the National Insurance Commission Head office in Accra yesterday, which started two months ago to collect blood for the National Blood Bank.

As part of the two-month exercise dubbed ‘Insurance Industry Blood Donation Exercise,’ which is an initiative of the NIC, about 800 units of blood have been collected to help to stock the National Blood Bank.

This followed an appeal made by the National Blood Service (NBS) to the NIC to help stock the National Blood Bank with blood due to the blood shortage facing the country.

Professor Badu-Akosa, said superstition was militating against voluntary blood donation, saying it was regrettable that some religious groups spoke against blood donation.

“Donating blood does not affect one’s health. It rather boosts our health as it regenerates our body,” Prof. Badu-Akosa, said.

He entreated the banking and finance sector the public and civil service to emulate the example of the insurance industry.

The former GHS Boss suggested that the Head of Civil Service and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to designate a month for the staff of the  Civil Service and banks and financial institutions to donate blood to stock the National Blood Bank.

He also contended that the spirit of donating blood should be inculcated in Senior High School students.

Prof Badu-Akosa commended the NIC for initiating the blood donation exercise and all the insurance companies for supporting it to be a success.

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service, Dr Justina Ansah said blood was an important substance for the survival of individuals.

She said blood could not be manufactured and the National Blood Service depended donation from individuals to stock the National Blood Bank.

She said continuous and voluntary donation was critical to replenishing the National Blood Bank, and reduce blood stress on the country.

Dr Ansah called on other private sector organisations to emulate the example of NIC and the insurance companies.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Justice Ofori said NIC started the Insurance Industry Blood Donation on August 19, 2021.

He said Chief Executive Officers of the insurance companies and staff offered to donate blood to support the blood bank.

He said the NIC has instituted August every year as Insurance Industry Blood Donation Month.

Dr Ofori expressed gratitude to all companies and individuals who supported the exercise to make it a success.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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