The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS), Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya, said on Sunday that over 260,000 units of blood are required yearly to meet the blood transfusion demand in the state.
She noted that efforts are being intensified by the state government through LSBTS to ensure that all blood for transfusion comes from voluntary blood donors.
The LSBTS chief said: “The demand for blood is ever-present and increasing especially with the growing population of Lagos State. This blood transfusion demand, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimation is that blood donation from at least one to two percent of the population is needed to meet their blood needs.
“This is why we need residents to donate voluntarily to meet these demands and save precious lives.”
Osikomaiya said the state has less than 10 percent, voluntary blood donors, stressing that over 90 percent of blood is sourced from replacement donors who according to her, have a higher risk and prevalence of transfusions transmissible infections such as Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
According to her, the need to address the issues of commercial blood touts, demand for family replacement of blood at antenatal booking and availability of safe blood for transfusion informed the drive to ensure that 100 percent of blood for transfusion should be from voluntary blood donors.
She added: “The crux of the plan is to increase the availability of safe blood by promoting voluntary blood donation, reducing activities of commercial blood touts and retaining already recruited voluntary blood donors for sustained blood supply.
“We, therefore, cannot overemphasize the need to ensure the availability of blood in our blood banks where patients who require blood transfusion can be readily supplied. That is why we are intensifying our awareness campaign to encourage more voluntary blood donors to join others who give their blood willingly and freely without knowing the recipients.”