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Nigeria, 33 others depend on family, paid donors for blood supply

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor   |   14 June 2016   |   3:05 am
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan, AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan, AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

WHO says voluntary unpaid blood donations must increase rapidly to meet 2020 goal

AS part of activities to mark the World Blood Donor Day today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is encouraging all countries to establish blood services based on full voluntary non-remunerated blood donations.

It decried a situation whereby 34 countries including Nigeria, are still dependent on family donors and even paid donors for more than 75 per cent of their blood supply.

The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020.

The United Nations apex health body, in a statement, yesterday, said: “Today, only 62 countries get close to 100 per cent of their national blood supplies from voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 34 countries still dependent on family donors and even paid donors for more than 75 per cent of their blood supply.”

The Guardian’s investigation reveals that most hospitals in Nigeria still insist on family donors and encourage paid donors.

It was found that there are known, paid blood donors parading the corridors of most teaching and general hospitals. Relatives are asked to donate blood for patients before they are transfused and when they cannot, they are referred to patronise paid donors.

The WHO said voluntary unpaid blood donations must be increased rapidly in more than half the world’s countries in order to ensure a reliable supply of safe blood for patients whose lives depend on it.

This year, the theme of World Blood Donor Day is “Blood connects us all”, highlighting the common bond that all people share in their blood. The slogan, “Share life, give blood”, draws attention to the role that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and promoting co
mmunity cohesion.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, said: “Although we have many external differences, the same vital blood pumps through all our veins. Voluntary, unpaid blood donation is the act of giving life – the greatest gift any person can give or receive.”


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