By Femi Adi
Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) , Kaduna State Branch today embarked on a road walk to join the world to commemorate “Blood Donor Day”.
The group of Medical scientists used the the special day to urge Nigerians to cultivate culture of donating a pint of blood at least once a year for their healthy living.
Speaking to Journalists shortly after the road walk , Chairman of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, (AMLSN), Kaduna state branch, Comrade Lawal Babsalam said, blood is of those fundamental materials that can not be purchased, but essential for people’s survival particularly critically ill people, women that want to give birth, and sometimes in cases of emergency.
According to him , the World Health Organization, (WHO), has set aside today; June 14 globally for people to campaign and tell community members to donate blood to save life.
He further said there were experts to speak to the people on blood components and it uses so that people can collectively save the world from this things that cannot be bought from the pharmacy or the market.
On who can donate blood, Comrade Babsalam said; “Globally those that are apparently healthy can donate a pint of blood within the space of 90 days, however, six months is enough.
But everyone is advised to donate blood once a year because this actually helps the donor as an individual as it is the only way one can keep healthy too.
“Even if you do not donate blood it would be wasted, so it is encourage that all donate blood not necessarily today, as today is meant to campaign and sensitized people about it.”
A Hematologist Medical Laboratory Scientist, Blessing Udeh, said the campaign became necessary since it was discovered that due to lack of awareness people no long turn out to donate blood.
She noted that blood donations is not only necessary or good, but that it also help the donor to know his/her health status. Why? Because the blood collected is screened and information of the donor taken and if by any reason one or two TTIs – Transition Transmissible Infections is detected, the donor will be contacted to ensure he takes the necessary steps to help and better improved his health.
She however expressed fear that due to the situation facing the world people no longer come to donate blood.
“When the world was better the rate of blood donations were frequent. People willingly come to donate blood. This awareness campaign comes at the right time as it seemed people he forgotten blood donations still exist,” she said.
Comrade Udeh urged people should come to donate because blood is a free gift of nature, saying when someone has this gift it is expected that such a person assist another who is in dire need.
“People die daily due to anaemia, others die of accident for loss of blood and there is no blood in the bank to assist them,” she added.
According to the experts, donating a unit of blood today will; save the life of an accident victim; prevent childhood deaths; prolong the life of cancer patients; save a patient undergoing surgery; and also save the life of a pregnant woman.
They enumerated the benefits of blood donations to include: enhancement of the production of new blood cells; burns calories; enhances feeling of wellbeing in people.
Others are: reduced cancer risk; opportunity for free health screening; saves lives; brings joy to many;and improved heart health.