The Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris has ordered that certified blood for transfusion must bear the logo of the State Government as a means of establishing its quality and credibility.
Idris who made the disclosure today at a press conference organized by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service to commemorate the year 2016 World Blood Donor Day urged families of patients to take note and report such cases even as he warned that erring public and private blood banks who fail to put the logo shall henceforth be sanctioned.
He advised that all private blood banks in the State should be registered with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service for effective monitoring and quality control.
While highlighting the objectives of this year’s campaign which according to him include appreciating donors for their lifesaving gift of blood and focusing attention on blood services as a community service, he emphasized the need to create wider publicity and sensitization of the populace on the need to show commitment to regular voluntary unpaid donations which translates to self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products based on 100% voluntary and unpaid donations drive.
“We need to create wider public awareness on the need for regular, unpaid blood donation and inspire young, healthy people who have not yet keyed in to start donating with a view to have a robust blood bank”, he remarked.
He stated that voluntary blood donors are known to be the foundation of adequate supply of safe blood due to lower prevalence of Transmission Transmissible Infections (TTIs) adding that voluntary donors can walk-in to any of the 21 public hospitals with blood banks as well as three standalone blood donor centers to donate blood.
The Commissioner stated that the standalone centers are located at the General Hospital, Lagos, Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET) and Alimosho General Hospital, Igando.
Answering to a question on why husbands of pregnant women are being asked to donate blood, Idris explained that such arrangement is important in case the woman has hemorrhage and as a result, needs blood.
He explained that a cumulative average of 70, 000 units of blood is required annually adding that in 2015, 32, 619 units of blood were donated in public health facilities stressing that only 4, 175 (13%) were sourced from voluntary donors while 33% and 54% were sourced from replacement and antenatal donors respectively.
Going down memory lane, the Commissioner noted that LSBTC was established on 1st, June 2014 with a vision to have a state where only safe blood is transfused in all appropriate health facilities adding that the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safety of blood and efficient processing.
Highpoint of this year’s celebration is the placement of a bloodmobile vehicle at Ikeja City Mall to serve as an additional blood donation center. The vehicle which shall be placed three times a week within the premises of the mall is equipped with necessary tools to facilitate voluntary blood donation.
“Donor drives are carried out by LSBTS on week days, weekends and public holidays on invitation by higher institution of learning, corporate organization, government establishments, churches, mosques and members of the communities while courtesies are extended to voluntary donors and results of screening are handled with confidentiality”, Idris said.