Today is World Blood Donor Day and the theme for this year ” Safe blood for all (Blood Donation and Universal Access to Safe Blood Transfusion)” aims to raise awareness about the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care.
At a time when 1.8 million unit of blood are required per annum to save lives of ailing Nigerians, not up to one percent of the population donates blood.
At Nigeria’s current level of health care delivery , about 1.5 million units of blood are needed annually to run blood banks effectively.Not up to half of that demand is met.
Researches are unanimous in their submission that voluntary blood donation is not a practice widely embraced by Nigerians.
A report says only about 10 percent of Nigerians donate blood of their own volition, more than 60 percent are commercial donors while 30 percent of blood available in banks are gotten from family of patients who donate under duress.
But then, not many are aware that at that critical point when blood is needed, certain factors such as smoking, hypersensitivity, basic hobbies may hinder them from rendering such help.
Health experts say for the blood banks to run optimally, just about one percent of the more than 160 million people in Nigeria need to donate blood habitually.
That way the blood deficit can be reduced and numerous deaths from blood shortage prevented.