The Regional Director of World Health Organisation (WHO) in the African Region, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has said that African region is not meeting its blood needs, and many patients requiring transfusion are dying because of blood shortages.
She, however, noted that significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing.
Moeti made this known in her message to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day celebrated on every June 14, with this year’s theme being “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.”
According to her, it has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries. Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need. This is how ordinary people can be there for someone else – by giving blood and sharing life.
Her words: “Adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations. I urge countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes.”
“This draws attention to the kind gestures of regular and voluntary blood donors for patients in need, and encourages people to care for one another by donating blood.
“The day is also an opportunity to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people”.
Moeti therefore encouraged the ministrt of health to put active measures in place to strengthen national blood services to enhance universal access to safe blood.
She also thanked all voluntary blood donors and encouraged them to continue giving this valuable gift regularly to ensure sufficient blood supplies for all patients.
“I congratulate and express my support to blood donor associations and other non-governmental organisations and all those who are working to make safe blood available in healthcare facilities.
“The WHO Regional Office for Africa will continue to support all initiatives aimed at ensuring that safe blood and blood products are available for all. Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”, she added.