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Citizens entreated to donate blood to save lives

BY: Jemima Okang Addae & Elizabeth Konadu-Boakye
Dr Ignatius Awinibuno Achor (left), Director, Allied Health, Ministry of Health, presenting an award to Isaac Teye Odonkor, the National Best Blood Donor, 2022. Picture: ESTHER  ADJORKOR ADJEI
Dr Ignatius Awinibuno Achor (left), Director, Allied Health, Ministry of Health, presenting an award to Isaac Teye Odonkor, the National Best Blood Donor, 2022. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has entreated the public to voluntarily donate blood to help save lives.

He said the country’s blood banks did not have adequate quantities to serve patients many of who were in emergency situations, adding that the importance of blood in saving lives in emergency situations cannot be overemphasised.

This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the minister at the 22nd National Blood Donor Day and the launch of the 2023 annual voluntary blood donation campaign.

The event, which was in collaboration with the Rotary Clubs of Accra and Accra Ridge, was on the theme: “Donating blood is an act of solidarity”.

Commendation

The minister commended voluntary donors for their selflessness and commitment in making sure that they donated blood without any compulsion to save lives in the country.

He attributed the shortage of blood supplies to the inability of many people to voluntarily donate, adding that some citizens preferred to wait until their relatives were in urgent need of blood before they donated.

“Let me emphasise that this family replacement system does not ensure timely availability of safe and adequate blood for patients, especially in emergency situations,” the minister said.

Mr Agyemang Manu also urged the management and staff of the National Blood Service (NBS) to redouble their efforts and adopt innovative measures to encourage the public, including the corporate entities to regularly undertake voluntary blood donation activities.

Mandate

The Chief Executive Officer of the NBS, Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori, said the mandate of her outfit was to ensure the effective and coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate and efficacious blood, while ensuring it was timely, accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion.

"Through the support of our regular voluntary unpaid blood donors and key stakeholders, we have been able to carry out our mandate and still making progress," she said.

Dr Owusu-Ofori also expressed gratitude to voluntary blood donors and stakeholders for their continuous support, adding that there was much more work to be done as the service sought to achieve a target of 100 per cent voluntary unpaid blood donation.

"Our humble appeal to the government is to constitute the blood service board to help facilitate our independent operations.

“The blood service is prepared to continually collaborate with all key stakeholders, including the government, as we work towards ensuring blood safety for a healthy nation," she added.

The District Governor of Rotary District 91, Victor Yaw Asante, also added his voice to the appeals for more people to voluntarily donate blood for the sake of humanity.

Awards

Isaac Teye Odonkor from the Eastern Region was declared the Best Blood Donor in the country with 62 pints of blood.

Seth Nyarko from the Greater Accra Region came second for donating 56 pints of blood, while Solomon Bawa from the Ashanti Region placed third with 55 pints of blood.