By Fasilat Lawal

Nigerians should continue to support blood donation as it is a critical life-saving humanitarian service.

The Acting Zonal Director, Southwest National Blood Service Commission NBSC Ibadan Dr Oladapo Aworanti, a Consultant Hematologist, stated this at the NBSC office, Total Garden Ibadan to mark National Blood Donor Day.

Dr Aworanti explained that the NBSC would like more Nigerians to come forward and donate blood to help those in dire need of it.

While urging those willing to donate to shun any myths or misconceptions about voluntary blood donations, Dr Aworanti explained that the donation process involved thorough testing to ascertain if willing donors are fit to donate to safeguard their health.

“These are the challenges we face if you speak to people to donate blood they would tell you how much blood do I have? which is wrong. We will get you tested before you can donate, and during testing, you will get the advantage of knowing your blood group along with any other relevant information.

The Acting Zonal Director of NBSC Ibadan said this year’s event which is the second edition in the country was meant to create more awareness on blood donation so that NBSC would have more blood at its banks, especially when needed in emergency cases.

 “We are moving towards the end of the year and lots of activities happen towards the end of the year, we don’t want a situation where we won’t be able to save blood.

“You can see what happened in Kaduna’s recent bomb explosions. NBSC supported the victims. If we don’t have blood in our commercial Banks and blood banks, where we keep blood how can we donate and save lives? ”Hence the need to create more awareness“

Speaking on the theme ‘Blood Donation the Real Act of Humanity, Dr Aworanti emphasized that donors are life savers, pointing out that NBSC was working on a modality of appreciating them.

“NBSC is working on a modality that will send a thank you message to appreciate and inform donors that their service to humanity saved a particular age group. I think this would make the  donors to come back and donate.”

The Consultant Hematologist said further that the Commission would soon embark on public school sensitization, appealing to Nigerians not to monetize their blood, but to visit appropriate facilities for voluntary blood donation.

Dr Aworanti added that with the creation of National Blood Donor Day, the statistics of blood donors in the country had slightly increased, and expressed hope that with more sensitization, there would be sufficient units of blood at blood banks.

Also, a Rotarian, Mrs Kemi Akinpelu decried the low rate of blood donation in the country, stressing that sensitizing the public would lead to more donations.

Two donors, Mr Akamu Nurudeen and Mr Oladeji  Olatunji who spoke to Radio Nigeria expressed happiness for donating blood to save lives:
“When I donate blood I don’t feel sick and avoid heart attack “
I look healthy when I donate blood”
National Blood Donor Day was instituted last year by former President Muhammad Buhari to boost blood donation in the country.

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