Prof. Haruna Muktar, a Consultant Haematologist at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), has urged the National Assembly to quickly pass the National Blood Transfusion Bill currently before it.
The consultant made the appeal in an interview with newsmen after a rally to commemorate World Blood Donor Day held at the main campus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State on Wednesday.
Muktar said, when passed, the law would guide the operations of blood transfusion services in Nigeria, thereby, saving the lives of millions of Nigerians requiring blood transfusion.
The consultant said the essence of the rally was to celebrate the day and encourage people to donate blood.
“We are here today to sensitise people, to make them aware of their responsibilities to come and donate blood regularly.
“Following last year’s sensitisation, there appeared a marginal increase in blood donation from about 300,000 units to about 400,000 units across Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, the wisdom behind blood donation is to cater for blood transfusion needs of accident victims, illnesses, natural disasters and women delivering among others.
Also in an interview, the Head of Haematology and Blood Transfusion Department, ABUTH, Dr Abdul-Aziz Hassan urged people to donate blood regularly and not wait until disaster strikes.
He said the importance of June 14 every year was to celebrate people who donate blood selflessly to assist others in need.
“Give blood now and give often. This is because if you have people who donate blood without being paid for, such blood is mostly safer than one given by family replacement donors or commercial donors.
“As you know, the WHO had banned the use of paid donors, however, up to now it is not effective in Nigeria because people are not donating and therefore, we do not have enough safe blood.
“So, by going round today, we are going to encourage young people to imbibe the habit of donating blood at least once in every three to four months,” he said.