‘Superstition, major hindrance to voluntary blood donation’
Supersitious beliefs are one of the major hindrances to voluntary blood donation in the country, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service (NBS), Dr Justina Kordai Ansah, has stated.
She said studies conducted into why people did not want to donate blood had found superstitious beliefs as one of the major setbacks, with some people even believing that they could become impotent if they donated blood to others.
She described those beliefs as false and untrue and urged the public to disregard them, saying that “we have intensified education on the subject as part of our effort to improve on the rate of voluntary blood donation.”
Dr Ansah said this in an interview when some executive members of the NBS paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Ato Afful, in his office in Accra last Friday.
She said, currently, the country did not have sufficient blood stocks in the various blood banks, vis-a-vis the population growth and the increasing demand for blood on a daily basis.
She said Ghana required at least one per cent of the population to donate blood in order to become self-sufficient in blood to meet the demand.
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“With regard to 2018 estimates, we had a shortfall of about 30 per cent. With our population increasing, it is important that we fill that gap.
“Blood is always needed and we must make sure that it is available in the right groups and quantities.
It is a lot of work. Not everyone can donate blood but everyone can contribute to achieve our target,” she said.
Blood donor day
During the visit, the NBS delegation formally informed Mr Afful about the commemoration of the 2019 Blood Donor Day scheduled for June 14, 2019 and asked for the support of the GCGL to make the commemoration successful.
This year’s commemoration is on the theme: “Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion” and it will be characterised by a series of activities, including a public lecture and education on blood donation, community sensitisation and blood donation exercises.
Dr Ansah expressed appreciation to the management of the GCGL for its continuous support towards the welfare of the service by constantly offering its platform to propagate the messages and campaigns of the service.
For his part, Mr Afful applauded the service for its contribution to healthcare delivery and pledged the support of the GCGL for its activities.
He asked for further engagements between the two entities in a bid to deepen the long-standing relationship they had shared for years.
“Access to blood is critical to human life in all aspects.
As a company that exists to serve the people, we are ready to support any initiative that will propel the development of the nation,” Mr Afful said.