The National Coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) Dr Oluwatoyin Smith, on Thursday, encouraged Nigerians to donate blood, saying “blood donation is not harmful, it is actually healthy for the body.”
Smith said this in interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja to commemorate World Blood Donor Day with this year’s campaign as “Blood Donation As Action of Solidarity.”
She said the campaign was to highlight fundamental human values of altruism, respect, empathy and kindness which underlined and sustain voluntary unpaid blood donation system.
The coordinator added that the campaign adopted was “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”, to draw attention to the role that voluntary donation system played in encouraging people to care for one another and generate social ties and united community.
She added that “the campaign aims to highlight stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation as way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood, and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people.”
The NBTS coordinator said blood transfusion and blood products help to save millions of lives every year.
Smith said it could help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer and quality lives and support complex medical and surgical procedures.
She noted that “blood also has essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care.
“It essential during emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.
“Blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is key component of effective health system.
“Adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donation by voluntary, unpaid blood donors.”
She announced NBTS plan to conduct blood campaigns through its centres across the country to meet the needs of hospitals.
She advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of donating blood, saying some people thought blood donation was harmful or could affect their blood level.