By Evelyn Usman
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has described blood donation in the state as awfully low, stating that only 54 percent of blood needs in the state had been met, as against the World Health Organisation’s requirement.
Speaking at the commissioning of a Blood bank donated to the Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos, Abayomi, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Biodun Oshimaya, said the blood needs in Lagos State according to WHO criteria were about 60,000 units.
“In Lagos State, we barely donate 120,000 units of blood and when I say 120,000 units of blood, I’m talking about blood needs, blood donated from the state.
“That is, the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service estimated blood donated from the federal arms.
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“This means that only 54 percent of blood needs in Lagos State is met and this is awfully low. People have asked why this is?
“First of all, we know that there is a very poor culture to blood donation, we know that there are lots of myths against blood donation around this community.
“Above all, there are issues of infrastructure that we deal with every day, in that the facilities are not even conducive enough to donate blood. The manpower is not even available to collect blood from those that need it”.
He commended the Rotary International for establishing a blood bank at the first Police hospital in Nigeria, noting that its establishment had increased the number of voluntary blood donation centres from three in Lagos State to four.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, expressed regrets that only very few countries in Africa have met the goal of the 2001 Abuja Declaration to commit 15 percent of the national budget to health. he said in 2020, Nigeria had less than 5 percent of it’s budgetary allocation to health.
The IGP who was represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, AIG Babatunde Kokumo, stated said the Nigeria Police had plans to replicate such across Police commands in the country.
On his part, the District Governor, District 9110, Rotary Club, comprising clubs in Lagos and Ogun states, Rotarian Remi Bello explained that the decision to establish a blood bank at the Police hospital was in the pipeline.