The Trauma Care International Foundation, a non-profit organization, is expanding its scope of advocacy on voluntary blood donation in Nigeria in preparation for the 2018 Global Voluntary Blood Donation Day.
Dr. Olajumoke Akisanya, Senior Executive Officer of Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF), representing the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of TCIF, Dr. Deola Phillips, at a press conference, highlighted the focus of the focus of Trauma Care International Foundation, which she said is on improving the state of trauma care and emergency response services through health education and community-based programs.
She indicated that one of such programs is the Voluntary Blood Donation Initiative through which the Foundation has organized several voluntary blood donation drives providing blood for thousands of adult patients in different parts of the world and raised over 10,000 voluntary blood donors in the registry.
Dr. Akisanya remarked that blood and its products are precious natural resources that can only be obtained from individuals who donate blood or its components. “Many lives have been lost due to non-availability of blood for transfusion in our hospitals. Others were lost due to lack of funds by their relatives to procure blood for transfusion from commercial blood banks due to the high prices,” she lamented.
The Senior Executive Officer of Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF) noted that in the determination to make a difference, the Foundation is using its platform to advocate for an increase in the number of voluntary (unpaid) blood donors; because these categories of donors are those that stay in good health and have committed themselves to be a part of saving lives through regular voluntary blood donation. “Most of us are more familiar with family/replacement donors and paid donors but these are not the ideal ways to run a sustainable system for safe blood donation,” she observed.
It was highlighted that the World Health Organisation record shows that over 234 million major operations are performed worldwide every year, with 63 million people undergoing surgery for traumatic injuries, 31 million for treating cancers, 10 million for pregnancy-related complications; road traffic accidents kill 1.2 million people and injure or disable between 20 million to 50 million more a year, a large proportion of whom require transfusion during the first 24 hours of treatment.
“These are huge figures and they depict just how important and necessary access to safe blood for transfusion is in our society, Dr. Akinsaya further remarked.
It was further observed that in Nigeria, the majority of transfusions are prescribed for the treatment of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, severe childhood anemia, trauma and the management of congenital blood disorders like sickle cell anemia.
The Foundation, however, commended the efforts of the Nigerian National Blood Transfusion Service, their state chapters and the state-run agencies, such as the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, for their efforts so far at coordinating and overseeing the processes through which our citizens receive safe blood when required.
The Senior Executive Officer of the Foundation was of the view that there is still room for more to be done, stating: “and we are advocating for the institution of a regulatory body that will not only support and promote voluntary blood donation but will be able to enforce and even prosecute those who have made blood and its products a commodity beyond the reach of those in need for commercial gains.”
“To play our part in saving more lives, the Trauma Care International Foundation will be organizing Voluntary Blood Donation Drives in multiple locations around Nigeria on Saturday 30th of June, 2018 from 10 am to 6 pm GMT + 1.
“This is to encourage our teeming population to join us on a course to make safe blood available to as many patients and individuals in dire need of it,” Dr. Akinsaya declared.
It was indicated that selected centers have been established for the nationwide voluntary blood donation exercise across Nigeria from Lagos to Maiduguri, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Yola and others.