Blood Donor Day: WHO calls for government support

Gloria Essien, Abuja


The World Health Organisation (WHO), has called on the Nigerian government to give the necessary support to blood donation in the country.

WHO regional Director for Africa,  Dr.Rebecca Moeti, stated this in a message to commemorate the 2018 World Blood Donor Day.

She lamented African countries inability to meet their blood needs as many patients requiring transfusion die because of blood shortages.

“In the African region, although countries have made significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing. The Region is not meeting its blood needs, and many patients requiring transfusion are dying because of blood shortages. Adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations. I urge countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes. I encourage Ministries of Health to put active measures in place to strengthen national blood services to enhance universal access to safe blood,” she said.

The Regional Director thanked all voluntary blood donors and encouraged them to continue giving this valuable gift regularly to ensure sufficient blood supplies for all patients.

She expressed support for blood donor associations and other non-governmental organisations and all those who are working to make safe blood available in healthcare facilities.

The World Blood Donor Day, is celebrated on the 14th of June, every year,  to draw attention to the kind gestures of regular and voluntary blood donors for patients in need, and encourages people to care for one another by donating blood.

The day is also an opportunity to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people.

This year’s theme focuses on blood donation as an act of solidarity: “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”.

According to Moeti, “Blood transfusion saves lives”.

Blood donation helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, better quality lives, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.

It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries.

Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need.

The WHO Regional Director encouraged ordinary people to be there for someone else  by giving blood and saving life.

Bilkisu Pai