By CHIOMA OBINNA

Barely seven years to World Health Organisation’s 100 percent voluntary blood donation target by 2020, experts have blamed the inability of Nigeria to meet up with the global target on misconceptions.

Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, LSBTC, Dr. Modupe Olaiya, who spoke during Cadbury Nigeria Employees Voluntary Blood Donation initiative, regretted that Nigeria still ranked low with less than 10 per cent voluntary non-remunerated blood donations.

Olaiya listed some of the misconceptions to include fear of contracting human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, among other infections, fear of developing fever after blood donation, fear of excessive weight loss and sexual failure.

Olaiya, who is also a Consultant Haematologist, observed that same unconfirmed fears had held down Lagos State to record just seven per cent of voluntary non-remunerated donations since 1984 when the committee was established.

She further regretted that Lagos and Nigeria at large still ranked low against WHO’s 80 percent voluntary non-remunerated donations’ 2012- target.

She alerted that paid donors were causing havoc in the blood donation drive as they often falsify information at the detriment of the healthcare system, but explained that extra care was being taken to ensure that all blood donations were adequately screened before transfusion.

On his part, Cadbury Medical Adviser, Dr. Segun Dosumu, said Cadbury Nigeria Employees Voluntary Blood Donation drive was parts of the firm’s corporate social responsibility, CSR, and a way to boost blood supply in the state.

Dosumu said the importance of the initiative could never be faulted as many patients die needlessly because of lack of safe blood in hospitals.

“The high number of blood supply in hospitals is from paid donors who often times mar safe blood drive,” he said.

Cadbury West Africa Human Resources Director, Mr. Emmanuel Imoagene, whop spoke on the benefits of blood donation, listed them to include healthy heart condition, improved production of new blood cells and reduction of cancer risk etc.

Although WHO Melbourne Declaration had called for action to all governments to achieve 100 per voluntary non-remunerated blood donations by 2020 as the cornerstone of their blood policies, in accordance with World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions WHA28.72 and WHA58.13, family replacement and paid donation continue in many countries such as Nigeria.

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