The Medical Officer in charge of National Blood Transfusion Service Kaduna, Dr. Owoeye-Olowe Oluyemisi has appealed to Nigerians to donate blood with a view to saving lives.
Speaking during an exclusive interview, she said the main purpose of donating blood in NBTS is to save the lives of those involved in accidents or any other person who may require blood during an emergency.
According to her, When the need for blood arises, relations of the patients first go to NBTS looking for blood in the blood bank.
” for the first contact, people go to look for blood in the blood bank, which is in the national blood transfusion centre. People whose family members are about to go to theatre for surgery, and those scheduled for operations come to National Blood Transfusion Service. Often, when there is any emergency, NBTS is the back-up.” She said.
When asked, who is qualified to donate blood, Dr. Oluyemisi explained that any healthy person between the ages of 18 & 65 years, can donate, adding that, ” provided the person is physically fit and does not have any blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C. or syphilis. Such a donor should also not be on any medication for chronic diseases. Such a person is free or qualified to donate.’
Her words: Before we allow our donors to donate blood, they complete a “medical and lifestyle history” questionnaire, get a mini health check, during which we screen him/her and check their haemoglobin level and vital signs because there is a certain level one’s haemoglobin must reach before we allow donation. We can’t allow any person that is anemic or with low blood level to donate blood. We have to make sure that the blood in the body of the donor is adequate for us to bleed. Because we care for the well-being of all our blood donors.
Dr Oluyemisi who was happy because of positive response from donors in Kaduna state further said that, once they collect blood from donors, it is transferred to the lab for further screening to ensure that it is free from transfusion transmitted infections such as HIV, Hepatitis, syphilis among others.
” once the blood is positive for any of these, we put it aside and discard it because we do not want to transmit infection to an innocent person in need of blood.
” donors in Kaduna state are responding positive, they are responding well because our donor recruiters go out to churches, mosques and tertiary institutions and we have been getting positive responses. Even some organisations invite us to come over to their place to carry out blood drive for their staff that would like to donate.” She added