By GABRIEL OLAWALE
THE Lagos State Government has dismissed the alleged sale of blood in its hospitals even as it has initiated better compensation for voluntary blood donors. A member of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, LSBTC, Sherifat Lawal said the N4, 500 charged for a unit of blood should not be regarded as payment, but accepted as the normal processing charges.
Lawal who spoke during a blood donor drive organised by the LSBTC, in partnership with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Centre, maintained that no amount is commensurate with the value of human blood as it is unlike any other article sold in the super markets.
Presently in every Lagos State hospital, a unit of blood goes for N4, 500 and this money is not meant for blood being given to the patients. We don’t sell blood; this sum is just for screening the blood before it is certified for use.
“Even at that amount it is still being subsidised otherwise we would be talking about N7, 500.”
The State government is currently formulating a policy that would ensure voluntary blood donors are adequately compensated
“The Lagos State Ministry of health is working earnestly to ensure that voluntary blood donor enjoyed more than blood donor cards, but to make blood available to them at no cost when they need of it”
Lawal urged Lagosians to embrace voluntary blood donation in order to save lives. “This blood is being used to save lives of different categories of people such as accident victims, pregnant women, sickle cell and cancer patients etc. So the only way to get blood is through donation. By the time we have enough voluntarily donated blood in our banks, we would not have a cause to lose lives due to unavailability of blood. And there will be no need to force husbands to donate when their wives need blood.”
Another member, Solomon Eka said people who donate blood regularly are known to live longer and healthier while their chances of a heart attack and cancer is relatively low.
A voluntary donor at the event, Oladele Ibukun described the programme as a good initiative. “I am always happy anytime I give blood because my belief is that I have saved a life,” she said. Olaide Olubodun, a first time donor: said she gave blood because she heard that such donated blood is used to save pregnant women.