World Blood Donor Day observed …public asked to donate voluntarily

Ghana on Monday joined the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s World Blood Donor Day under the theme: “Donating blood is an act of solidarity, join the effort and save lives.”

The day, set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO),was for countries to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products and to show gratitude to voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

It was also to bring consciousness to the ongoing need for blood donations to save lives.

The Public Relations Officer of the National Blood Service, Stephen Addai-Baah, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Monday in Accra, called on all and sundry to understand that in emergencies where blood was required and not available, waiting meant death.

“So don’t wait! Become a voluntary blood donor today and help save our mothers, children and accident victims,” he added.

Mr Addai-Baah, therefore, urged the public to visit the nearest teaching or regional hospital, and give a unit of blood to support the blood banks.

“Blood donations are critical to both international and domestic health system and can only come from voluntary blood donors, the reason why the Blood Service will continue to appeal to the general public, religious bodies and organised groups to regularly organise blood donation exercises and give people the opportunity to donate blood, so that majority of the needless deaths that occur in our hospitals could be avoided because of perennial blood shortage,” he added.

Mr Addai-Baah also assured the donor public and all stakeholders that effective systems were being put in place to address most concerns of the public regarding access to blood and on timely basis.

He also cautioned the public against activities of some unscrupulous persons in society in their bid to access blood for transfusion.

“It must be clearly stated, that under no circumstances is any person required to pay money to anyone before one can donate blood,” he added.

Mr Addai-Baah said no one was also required to pay money to any health professional at a ward to be able to access blood for transfusion, adding that, “all processing fees are paid at the laboratory through the banking system, after which a receipt is issued to the patient before one can access blood.”

The PRO of the National Blood Service said patients or relatives of patients were not supposed to go for blood from the laboratory on their own to the wards as it was the sole responsibility of the doctor or the house officer.

Mr Addai-Baah encouraged the public to report any suspicious case of irregularities at the various hospital blood banks in the country to the blood service management team or the police for an action to be taken against those perpetrators.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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