The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben South in the Eastern Region, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, has asked residents of his constituency to voluntarily donate blood to reduce blood shortage at the Eastern Regional Hospital Blood Bank.
That, he indicated, would make blood available at all times for patients who needed it to save their lives.
Mr Baafi, who is also the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, made the call when his outfit organised a blood donation exercise to stock the Eastern Regional Hospital blood bank as part of the MP's health segment initiative for the people in his constituency.
The event, which generated 30 pints of blood, took place on Friday December 3.
A medical team from the hospital conducted the exercise.
The hospital is a referral centre for patients in the various parts of the region as such blood should be available for patients at all times.
According to Mr Baafi, it was sad for patients to visit the referral centre for blood but not get it because people were unwilling to donate .
He said the main purpose of the exercise was to make blood available for motor accident victims who often needed blood for their survival.
"Let's help stock the hospital's blood bank because the hospital is our only referral centre where blood should be available at all times. Your relatives as well as your families may need blood so come and donate blood to save lives," Mr Baafi stated.
Many people, the MP stated, only visited the hospital to donate blood when their relatives, families needed it, and stressed that it was not the best practice because blood was supposed to be ready for patients and not patients to wait for the blood in an emergency situation.
Mr Baafi said it was his primary duty to encourage people in his constituency to donate blood to save lives; hence, his involvement in such an exercise.
The Blood Donor Organiser at the hospital blood bank, Mrs Philomena Quayson, for her part, said the blood bank only charged a processing fee for test to be conducted but did not sell the blood to patients.
She expressed concern about the reluctance of people to donate blood, explaining that blood donation exercises were always not encouraging because many people refused to take part.
According to her, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) did not cover blood processing for patients in the hospital.
She appealed to all political party leaders to encourage their supporters to donate blood to support the hospital blood bank to help save their own relatives lives.