15 June 2017

Nigeria: Govt Plans Bill On Establishment of National Blood Service Commission

Abuja — The Federal Ministry of Health is working on a draft bill for the establishment of a National Blood Service Commission for presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as an executive bill.

The bill, if passed into law, would grant the National Blood Transfussion Service (NBTS) the autonomy it requires to carry out its mandate in consonance with global best practices and also ensure regularisation of the appointment of core technical members of staff previously engaged on the programme. It is also being pursued to ensure that relevant skills are available to optimise service delivery at the blood service.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 2017 World Blood Donor Day, said that emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex, adding that adequate supplies of safe blood units during emergencies reduces the incidence of mortality arising from severe acute blood losses following obstetric emergencies.

He said: "Trauma, especially during road traffic accidents, bomb-blasts, collapsed buildings, to mention a few, also requires a well-organised blood service, which can only be ensured by engaging the entire community and a blood donor population committed to voluntary unpaid blood donation throughout the year."

Adewole, who noted that much less is donated leading to avoidable deaths and morbidities, particularly among our womenfolk, newborn children, victims of road traffic accidents and insurgencies, enjoined all healthy Nigerians to embrace the culture of voluntary blood donation.

According to him: "This situation can improve if up to one per cent of our country's adult population commit themselves to voluntary non-remunerated blood donation on a regular basis. Our limited national data indicate that voluntary non-remunerated blood donation accounts for only 10 per cent of our total blood collection. Family replacement donations and commercial donations account for 30 and 60 per cent respectively. This situation needs to be reversed as we move towards the attainment of 100 per cent voluntary non- remunerated blood donation by the year 2020."


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