By Chioma Obinna
NIGERIANS have been urged to develop the habit of engaging in voluntary blood donation as a way ofÂ life in order to enable the country meet the requirements of demand for safe blood transfusion services.
Head of the Department of Haematology,Â College of Medicine University of LagosÂ (CMUL), Dr. Suleiman Akanmu,Â decried the apathy most people had towards blood donation and stressed that it has be proven that voluntary blood donation has remained the most reliable and safest way of providing blood and blood products in all blood banks in order to save lives without any risks of transmitting diseases or complications.
Speaking during this yearâ€™s World Blood Donor Day, (WBDD), marked by the 20th edition of the Mega Blood Donation Exercise of Muslim Students Community of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Akanmu in a chat with Good Health Weekly, stressed that voluntary blood donation would save the lives of women who lose there lives during child birth due to anaemia.
He noted that voluntary blood donation would as well reduce maternal mortality and help those patients that are suffering from blood related diseases such as sickle cell anaemia, victims of gunshot injuries, accident victims amongst others.
Also speaking, President of Muslim Students Community of LUTH/CMUL,Â Adekunle Suleiman explained that the exercise was an annual event tagged, â€œIslam Propagation Weekâ€ as part of the organisations humanitarian services to the community.
Suleiman further lamented that as medical students they witnessed how patients die in their presence as a result of lack of blood.
â€œWe feel pained when such patients die because of lack of blood. As Muslims, we have been encouraged to save lives, a person that saves a life is as if he has saved the whole world and that is what prophet of AllahÂ made us to understand.
â€œ We felt that we should organise a programme that will save more lives not just one by bringing people together to come and donate blood for the needy because blood cannot be synthesised artificially. It has to be reproduced naturally.â€
He dismissed insinuations that a person can die while donating blood rather explained that blood donation is very therapeutic against all the myths that are associated with blood donations in Nigeria.
â€œIt is ideal for people to donate blood at least twice annually as more blood cells areÂ replaced and the donor becomes more happier and healthier.â€
Suleiman explained that blood collected would be screened for HIV, hepatitis B & C amongst others.
AboutÂ 200 pints of blood was obtained from over 500 donors during a blood donation exercise in Lagos, he saidÂ blood should not be sold. About 1,500 pints of blood was recovered during the exercise last year.