By Gabriel Olawale
Voluntary  blood donation is a healthy habit that most Nigerians can engage in as a means of relieving the shortage of blood supply in the country and also improving their heart health and reduce excess iron in the body that predisposes individuals to cardiovascular diseases, CVDs.

Head of the Blood Donor Organising Unit, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Ms. Sijuade Olayinka, told Good Health Weekly regualr blood donation id beneficial to the donor an recipient in several ways.

Speaking during the 4th annual blood donation camp of Seventh Day Adventist Church Lagos Mainland Conference to mark Global Youth Day, Olayinka said “Anything more than 12.5 grammes of blood will only overstress the heart. Donation itself acts as a form of exercise, because if one pint of blood is collected, one will be losing about 650 calories.

“With regular donation, you are at a great advantage not to develop diseases associated with heart problems because you have made your heart work at a pace that is proportional to your body mass.

She said whether a person donates blood or not, every 120 days, the red blood cells are naturally replaced, so it is advisable to give blood to save lives.

“People with chronic disorders, cancer of the blood, accident victims, pregnant women, and fire outbreak victims can benefit from the pint of blood you are donating.”

President, Lagos Mainland Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church, Emmanuel Adeniyi, said  blood transfusion is an essential component of healthcare and contributes to saving millions of lives annually in routine and emergency situations. It improves life expectancy and quality of life of patients with a variety of acute and chronic conditions.

“Patients who require transfusion as part of their clinical management have the right to expect that sufficient blood is available to meet their needs.”

Adeniyi said the exercise is aimed at inculcating the act of kindness in the youth.

The estimated blood needs in Nigeria averages 1.4 -1.7 million units per annum. Voluntary/non-remunerated blood donation accounts for 10 per cent of total blood collection, according to data from the National Blood Transfusion Services, NBTS

The role of blood in the body

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